Vasectomy refers to the minor surgical procedure that seeks to stop sperm from being infused with semen during penile ejaculation. The semen will still be seen, but it will not have any viable sperm1. The testes will continue to produce sperm, which will then be absorbed by the body after the ejaculation process.
Getting a vasectomy is the surest birth control method out there right next to abstinence. Currently, there are three different vasectomy procedure types. They include conventional, no-scalpel, and minimally invasive vasectomies.
The main aim of all these vasectomy procedures is to block the vas deferens. However, each of them has a specific procedural technique with minor variations from each other.
Different Types of Vasectomy Procedures
Conventional vasectomy involves making small incisions along the scrotum using a scalpel. Generally, the procedure is performed by making an incision along the scrotum’s middle region. It could also be two incisions on either side of the scrotum, depending on what strategy the surgeon believes is best. These incisions range between 1.5 to 3.0 cm in length2.
This procedure doesn’t involve any specially crafted equipment. Owing to the extent of these incisions, they are usually closed off using sutures. However, research has shown that conventional vasectomies pose a higher risk of complications than other vasectomy procedures.
The No-scalpel vasectomy procedure (NSV) is one type of vasectomy that makes use of specialized surgical equipment intending to make the procedure as minimally invasive as possible. The process usually involves the making of much smaller incisions along sections of the scrotal skin.
These incisions are much lesser than those from the conventional vasectomy, usually around 10mm in length. Since these openings are tiny, there is no need for using skin sutures as they can close off on their own. The NSV procedure relies on two sets of specialized equipment, the vas dissector, and the vas ring clamp.
In a nutshell, the No-scalpel vasectomy is derived from how an incision is made along with the scrotum. Your surgeon could choose to make one or two incisions on the scrotal skin going on the extract sections of the vas deferens, and this would still pass as a No-scalpel vasectomy.
Minimally Invasive Vasectomy
For the minimally invasive vasectomy procedure, the vas dissector and the vas ring clamp are used, just like the No-scalpel vasectomy. There is also no use of a scalpel. The main difference between the two is that with minimally invasive vasectomy, there is no removal of the vas deferens sections, and only one incision is made.
What Type of Vasectomy is Better?
With conventional vasectomy, there are numerous complication risks compared to minimally invasive or no-scalpel vasectomies. Conventional vasectomy is associated with more cases of infections and bleeding. It also causes patients a more considerable amount of pain during the recovery period after getting the vasectomy3.
Vasectomy Procedure Types
As stated earlier, vasectomies are very useful when it comes to birth control. Minimally invasive procedures are a much safer option. So, your doctor should be able to discuss with you what method they are well-versed in, help you understand the various risks involved, and follow up care tips.
Links to Sources Used:
- Male Sterilization https://www.hhs.gov/opa/pregnancy-prevention/sterilization/male-sterilization/index.html
- How is Vasectomy Done? https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/vasectomy/conditioninfo/done
- CUA guideline: Vasectomy https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5110415/