What Patients Ask Regularly About
The Michigan Vasectomy Center specializes in procedural medicine and has been performing No Scalpel Vasectomies for more than 20 years. The founder, Dr. Pfenninger has been instrumental in teaching thousands of other physicians how to perform vasectomies. Dr. Pfenninger was the second in the state of Michigan to begin performing No Scalpel Vasectomy, and one of the first few to offer No-Needle No Scalpel Vasectomy. Dr. Berlanga continues to perform No-Needle No Scalpel Vasectomy and he learned the technique from Dr. Pfenninger.
Vasectomies are performed in the office and only take about twenty minutes. Vasectomy is a medical procedure that provides permanent sterilization for men. Everything remains the same after the procedure except that sperm are eliminated from the ejaculate. You should be sure you do not want to father any more children. It would be accurate to say that long term side effects are virtually none and short term ones (pain, bleeding, infection, failure) are very minimal. These are all discussed in detail during a consultation.
The vasectomy procedure that Dr. Berlanga performs is an advanced technique that uses special instruments. No-Needle is used for anesthesia. When receiving the anesthetic, it feels just like a couple of rubber band snaps. Now the only complaint from patients is the cold water used to wash off the area after the procedure!
In 2001, Dr. Chic Wilson, introduced No-Needle Vasectomy . He claimed it was essentially painless and that soon everyone would be using this method. However, most physicians continue to use a syringe and a needle to numb the area. Dr. Wilson’s innovation to the surgery was the way the anesthesia was delivered. When he told Dr. Pfenninger he could do a complete vasectomy with only 0.2 cc of xylocaine for anesthesia, it seemed a little far stretched. For most vasectomy procedures, 5 to 7 cc is injected through a small needle. Although the pain with the needle only lasts 30 seconds on a side, it is still uncomfortable. What Dr. Wilson developed was a small adapter that fit on to theend of a MadaJet which has been available for years. The MadaJet is the size of a test tube. You cock it somewhat like a BB gun. (See diagram.) It creates a pressure which blows the anesthesia into the desired tissues. Because the vas can be isolated right under the skin, Dr. Wilson claimed that just one puff with the instrument over each vas was enough to provide total anesthesia for the surgery. It is so quick there is virtually no pain. Using this method, he was able to avoid any needles for the procedure. Thus, he developed the No-Needle Vasectomy procedure. Dr. Pfenninger has used this method since 2008 on over 1500 patients and it indeed works as well as Dr. Wilson claimed.
Bleeding is always one of the concerns when performing vasectomy. During the administration of the anesthetic using a needle, vessels can be ruptured. Using this new No-Needle technique, there is even less chance of post-operative bleeding.
No Scalpel Vasectomy involves making a single opening into the scrotal sac (the bag that contains the testicles) using an instrument that has a sharp point. It looks like a very pointed hemostat. The tissue is spread open instead of being cut which markedly reduces tissue damage. The opening is only three eighths of an inch long and is made in the middle of the sacs. Each vas is then pulled over to this one opening and pulled through. The opening works much like a turtle neck sweater…it expands and then shrinks down to almost nothing again.
Once the tubes (vasa, sperm ducts) are brought out, a small section is removed, the ends are cauterized (burned) and a layer of tissue is inserted between the two ends blocking the sperm ducts so that sperm are not included in the ejaculation fluid. This prevents pregnancy. No scalpel is used for entering and no stitches are needed to close the small opening.
Once the area is numbed using the No-Needle Vasectomy method, there will be no discomfort for about 1 – 2 hours. After No-Needle No Scalpel No Suture Vasectomy most men experience minor, temporary discomfort and swelling. If you don’t overdo it, there generally is only a slight ache. Some men feel pulling up in the groin for a few days. There may be some bruising. We recommend that you take it easy for 2 days after the surgery. If the procedure is done on Friday, most men return to work on Monday. No lifting weights, jogging, or sex for at least one week. Erections, climaxes, and ejaculations continue after vasectomy as they did before. Sometimes the removal of fear of accidental pregnancy may add a greater sense of pleasure.
You must use other contraception for at least three months after the vasectomy procedure until the doctor has examined two separate semen specimens and found them to be sperm free. Although one in twelve hundred vasectomies fail, if two checks of the ejaculated fluid are negative, it is very likely that you will have permanent success. It is extremely rare that the tubes will ever grow back together, if they have not done so by three months.
Vasectomy should not be considered reversible. Research is continuing, but presently, there is no method that can totally assure restoring fertility. Current techniques of reversal are only 80% effective. If you have any doubts, please discuss other temporary birth control measures that are available. It is also possible to freeze your sperm for future use. Agencies in Flint and Detroit do this. It is also possible to preserve/freeze your sperm using an overnight mail service (http://www.cryochoice.com). Ask for further information if you are interested.
Although tubal ligation for women is a good procedure if a couple desires permanent contraception, there are some advantages to a vasectomy . Over 500,000 tubal ligations and 500,000 vasectomies are performed every year in the United States . Fourteen women a year die in the United States from tubal ligations, while no man has ever died from a vasectomy. Failure rates for vasectomy range between 1 in 600 and 1 in 1200. Virtually all failures occur in the first three months. For tubal ligations, failure rates are approximately 1 in 250 after the first year and continue to rise after that. With tubal ligation, there is no way to detect the failures. With vasectomy, men can bring in samples which are examined for the presence of sperm. Should sperm be found, a repeat procedure can be performed. Since vasectomy is an office procedure, it is also less costly than a tubal ligation which must be done in the hospital (about $1000 vs $4000). And now that the procedure itself is essentially painless, vasectomy has an even greater advantage as the preferred choice for permanent sterilization. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and even Ann Landers say that “all else being equal,” vasectomy is the preferred sterilization procedure!
Remember, a vasectomy does not affect a man’s sex drive, his hormones, or sexual performance. It only blocks the transport of sperm from the testicles to the ejaculate.
Vasectomies are covered by most insurance plans. (If you want to check with your insurance company to be sure it’s a covered benefit, the diagnosis code is Z30.2 and the procedure code is 55250.)
It is now possible then to anesthetize without a needle and to perform a vasectomy without using a scalpel or sutures.
Call 1-877 VAS-CHOICE (1-877 827-2464) and schedule a No-Needle No-Scalpel No-Suture Vasectomy consultation. More detailed information will be sent to you. In addition to meeting Dr. Berlanga, you will also be given the opportunity to view a 35-minute comprehensive video discussing all aspects of the procedure in detail if you wish. Please feel free to ask any questions or come in just to talk. Just because you have a counseling session does not mean you have to have a vasectomy. Other methods of birth control such as the IUD can also be discussed.