Types of Vasectomy

There are several different vasectomy techniques that have been developed.

The Traditional Vasectomy involves making two incisions in the scrotum with a scalpel after the scrotal skin is numbed using an anesthetic injected through a needle. The vas deferens is cut and a small segment of vas deferens is removed. The ends are usually sealed with metal clips.

  • Widely practiced, hence a lot of experienced practitioners around
  • Long term reliability established and post operation complications well known
  • Easier to access the vas deferens, therefore post operation bruising may be less in some cases
  • Post operation infection is statistically more likely than a no-scalpel vasectomy (because there are 2 incisions instead of 1)

The No Scalpel Vasectomy was invented in China in 1974, to help popularize the procedure, and introduced to the west in 1985. One midline incision is made with a puncture tool, the vas deferens is cut and a small segment of vas deferens is removed with the ends sealed.

  • Widely practiced, hence a lot of experienced practitioners around
  • Long term reliability established and post operation complications well known
  • One midline incision made with a puncture tool
  • Statistically lower rates of post operation infection
  • Many doctors feel that recovery is quicker using this technique

The "Open ended" vasectomy is usually the same general technique as no-scalpel vasectomy, but the testicle ends of the vas deferens are left open. The main feature of the technique is that statistically it may be less likely to lead to long term problems.

  • Long term problems appear to be reduced in the studies available
  • Has been practiced for at least 20 years, so plenty of medical data available
  • When combined with fascial interposition (using the spare tissue as a sheath over the prostatic ends) is as reliable as conventional vasectomy
  • Not widely practiced
  • Incidence of sperm granuloma increased

The Pro-Vas Vasectomy involves using a proprietary clip to seal the vas deferens without cutting and removing a piece. The clip can be used with any technique and may make the procedure quicker.  The procedure description may falsely lead to the impression that the vasectomy is easier to reverse.  The main benefit of the Pro-vas vasectomy is a faster procedure but the clip can add up to $300 to the cost of the procedure and is not routinely covered by insurance.