Vasectomy is a simple and effective method for providing permanent contraception. Vasectomy is the surgical interruption of the two tubes (vas deferens) that carry a man's sperm from his testicles to his ejaculatory ducts, where the sperm are stored before departure from his body during orgasm. A vasectomy prevents sperm from being added to the man's ejaculation fluid (semen); therefore, he can no longer make a woman pregnant. The sperm containing fluid that is blocked by vasectomy constitutes only 2-3% of a man's semen volume, therefore, a man and his partner will not notice any changes in the amount or appearance of his semen.
A minimally invasive technique, the No-Scalpel Vasectomy (NSV) has decreased the incidence of local complications and enhanced the popularity of vasectomy as a means of birth control. Since Dr. Marc Goldstein introduced the No-Scalpel Vasectomy into the United States in 1985, the Center for Male Reproductive Medicine and Microsurgery at Weill Cornell Medicine has played a leading role in the development of research protocols, manuals, videos, books and training programs for standardizing NSV technique. The NSV starts with a more effective technique to anesthetize the scrotum and vas using a high pressure jet injector instead of a needle. Two special instruments are used for the NSV procedure instead of using a scalpel. It is an elegant technique for delivering the vas deferens through a tiny puncture hole, which is dilated, pushing the potential blood vessels and nerves aside instead of cutting across them. Once the vas is delivered, its ends are sealed several ways to prevent failure. The puncture wound contracts and is virtually invisible at the end of the procedure. No sutures are necessary to close the puncture hole.
A vasectomy, no matter the technique, is a simple, effective, inexpensive, easy-to-perform method of contraception. Over 500,000 men in North America choose vasectomy each year. It is important for the patient to understand how the procedure is done, and all potential complications that might arise, both short-term and long-term.