Vasectomy Specialist in Sherman Oaks, CA
Having a vasectomy is one of the easiest and most reliable forms of birth control for men. Chief Medical Officer for Genesis Healthcare, Dr. Richard David provides vasectomy procedures for patients in Sherman Oaks, CA. Many patients drive from Encino, Bel Air, or Studio City to get personalized care at Genesis Healthcare. Dr. David will take the time to explain this relatively quick procedure in detail and answer all your questions. To learn more and see if a vasectomy is right for you, call our urology clinic at (818) 990-5020 today!
What is a vasectomy?
A vasectomy is a form of birth control during which the vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm, are cut. When the tube is cut, there is no way for sperm to be released from the penis. This procedure is considered a permanent form of birth control, but it is possible for men to have a reversal surgery should the patient change their mind in the future.
What are the Benefits of a Vasectomy?
It is recommended that men only get a vasectomy when they are certain that they no longer wish to have children. It is the preferred choice for many couples because:
- The use of male birth control (condoms) or female birth control (pills, IUDs, etc.) is no longer needed.
- The procedure is almost 100 percent certain to prevent pregnancy.
- It is much less expensive than female sterilization.
Vasectomy with No-Scalpel
In most cases, a vasectomy will be performed in Dr. David’s and is considered an outpatient procedure. Full anesthesia is not required, only a local anesthetic is necessary. A no-scalpel vasectomy does not use incisions, rather, the surgeon is able to access the vas deferens through very small holes. No stitches are needed for this form of surgery. If you are nervous about the procedure, Dr. David can even provide nitrous oxide (laughing gas) during the vasectomy to help you relax.
How Should I Prepare for a Vasectomy?
It is important for patients to share all relevant information with Dr. David, as this may influence the result of the vasectomy. For example, be sure to communicate any known allergies or effects caused by common medications or topical anesthetics. It is also critical to address and questions or concerns during this preliminary stage so that patients can be well informed and educated about their procedure.
Exact instructions will be given prior to arriving at Dr. David’s clinic for your vasectomy. While these guidelines may vary, they generally include:
- Avoiding blood thinners, anti-inflammatories, or aspirin in the few days leading up to the procedure
- Eat a small, nutritious meal before the vasectomy to prevent lightheadedness or nausea that can occur after fasting for several hours
- Wearing an athletic supporter or tightfitting undergarments to support the treatment area after the vasectomy
- Shower before surgery to ensure the site is appropriately cleaned before the procedure
- You may also be asked to shave the genitals yourself, or this may be done in the office before the vasectomy begins
- Arrange to have a friend or family member help to care for you after the procedure is complete
What Happens During a Vasectomy?
Depending upon Dr. David’s chosen approach, a vasectomy may be performed using various specialized techniques. While traditional surgery to complete a vasectomy is still a highly effective option, many urologists now offer minimally invasive options for men who wish to complete this procedure.
No matter what method is selected, the process remains relatively the same. To begin, the patient will be numbed so that they are comfortable throughout the entire treatment, at which point a small incision will be made so that Dr. David has access to the patient’s vas deferens. The vas deferens are two tubes responsible for carrying a man’s semen from the testicles to create semen. Without the vas deferens, sperm have no way to exit the body and fertilize a woman’s egg, meaning that pregnancy is not possible.
After the vas deferens are cut and quickly sealed using highly focused heat at the ends of each tube, the procedure is essentially complete. A stitch or two may be made to close the treatment site, though the incision is usually so small that it can be left to heal on its own.
What is the Recovery Process for a Vasectomy?
Recovery from a vasectomy, especially one that is performed using minimally invasive techniques, is quite minimal. Patients should expect some soreness and swelling in the first 24-48 hours after their vasectomy, though this should dissipate quickly so long as they rest and limit their activities as much as possible during this period.
Immediately following your vasectomy, there will be bruising and swelling, but those symptoms should subside after a few days. Apply ice packs every few hours to help control these symptoms. You may want to wear tight-fitting underwear so that the scrotum is provided extra support. Downtime is minimal following the procedure other than avoiding sexual activity for about a week to give the surgical location time to heal. Strenuous activity is typically restricted for about a week as well, but most men return to light activity within a day or two.
Get plenty of bed rest during the first week. At the very least, stay off of your feet for two or three days. Avoid bathing for about 48 hours because this will allow the incisions to heal faster and prevent infection. Dr. David may also prescribe antibiotics.
Most men are able to return to work and other everyday responsibilities within 2-3 days following their vasectomy, though it is advised to avoid any heavy lifting or other strenuous activity until you receive proper clearance from Dr. David.
How Effective Is a Vasectomy?
Please be very aware that the results of a vasectomy are not immediate. Dr. David will need to test the patient’s sperm in the weeks following a vasectomy to determine if the procedure was in fact successful at preventing the production and transfer of sperm through the vas deferens. During this time, men are instructed not to engage in unprotected sex, as this could lead to a potential pregnancy.
A vasectomy is more than 99% effective. Of the few cases in which a pregnancy does occur after a vasectomy, a majority are within the first year after the procedure is performed.
Are There Major Risks to Having a Vasectomy?
The most common side effects after a vasectomy are mild pain, bruising, bleeding, and swelling. Of course it is still possible for more severe issues to occur, though they are incredibly rare. These include:
- Chronic pain
- Failure to prevent pregnancy
- Granuloma (inflammation caused by leaking sperm)
- Spermatocele formation (a small cyst of the upper testicle region)
- Hydrocele (a fluid-filled sac of tissue that grows within the scrotum)
Individuals at risk for more serious complications include those who have suffered testicular cancer or testicular disease, though even in these outlying groups rarely encounter serious side effects caused by a vasectomy. Be sure to discuss your own individual risk factors with Dr. David to determine if a vasectomy is a safe option for you.
Will a Vasectomy Affect My Sexual Function?
No. A vasectomy has absolutely no proven effect on a man’s sex drive, sexual functions, or pleasure during sex. There are many common myths surrounding this particular question, though all evidence clearly shows that the only difference a man should notice after a vasectomy compared to his life before is that he is no longer able to father children.
Can a Man Have Sex After a Vasectomy?
Wait at least one week before having sexual intercourse. Keep in mind, you may not be sterile right away. Ejaculate may still contain sperm and may continue to for several months after the procedure. After a few months, the doctor will check sperm levels to confirm that it is declining until it reaches zero.
The vasectomy will not affect your sex drive and orgasms. Occasionally, men feel a slight pressure in their testicles when aroused, but eventually, that feeling will go away.
What If I Change My Mind?
There is a procedure for that as well! A vasectomy reversal may be offered to men who have previously undergone a vasectomy and later wish to conceive a child.
It is of course advised for patients to carefully consider this possibility before they complete a vasectomy, as vasectomy reversal procedures are not guaranteed to be effective. Men may also consider storing their sperm in a sperm bank prior to a vasectomy as a sort of safeguard to this potential situation.
Schedule a Vasectomy Consultation in Sherman Oaks, CA Today!
If you are considering a vasectomy as a male sexual health procedure, contact urology specialist Dr. David about the benefits of a vasectomy and find out if you’re a candidate. Genesis Healthcare has patients drive from Bel Air, Studio City, Encino, or Van Nuys travel to get specialized care at our urology clinic in Sherman Oaks, CA. To schedule your visit please call us at (818) 990-5020.