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March Madness and the No-Needle, No-Scalpel Vasectomy

A doctor’s excuse to be a couch potato

Minimally invasive procedure reduces discomfort and prescribes rest days

by Stephen Siegel, MD
Boulder Medical Center

There is no question that a vasectomy — a surgery to prevent sperm from exiting the body — is the simplest method for permanent birth control. The traditional vasectomy procedure involves using a needle to anesthetize the tissue before a scalpel is used to make incisions into the scrotum so that the vas deferens (the cord that carries the sperm) can be cut.

I’ve found that most guys are reluctant to visit a physician for a routine physical, much less request a vasectomy. When one factors in that vasectomies are done with a patient awake in the office, it becomes understandable that men are doing whatever they can to avoid this procedure. Fortunately, newer and less invasive technologies help to eliminate the need for fear.

The No-Needle, No-Scalpel Vasectomy allows for the simplest procedure with the least discomfort. The procedure utilizes a device that allows spraying of the numbing agent, Lidocaine, fast enough to penetrate the skin into the vas deferens. Once the area is numb, the urologist immobilizes the vas deferens at skin level then uses a special instrument to poke a tiny hole in the skin so that the vas deferens can be cut. The entire process is quick, taking about 10 to 15 minutes. There is no sedation involved because it is not necessary for pain. More good news is that research shows the procedure doesn’t lower sex drive, the recovery time is minimal, and there are generally no long term side effects.

After the procedure, patients are advised to stay at home, certainly for the first day and to take it easy for a few days after that. For this reason, guys often plan a vasectomy around their favorite sporting events, as they end up with a doctor’s excuse to watch TV. A few of the more popular times to schedule a no-needle, no-scalpel is around the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament, the Masters golf tournament, and the World Series.


About Dr. Stephen Siegel
Urology Department
Boulder Medical Center

Dr. Siegel addresses the full spectrum of adult urology and has performed over 3,000 No-Needle, No-Scalpel vasectomies. He also offers minimally invasive treatments for enlarged prostate, including the UroLift and Rezum procedures, which can be performed at his office in Boulder, Colo.

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