Vasectomy is an operation to achieve permanent family planning.
It is safe, effective and minimally invasive. Dr Coombes has done more than 1300 vasectomies. Many men chose this operation if they have finished having their family and wish to have an effective method, with less side effects and risks compared with female sterilisation procedures. A vasectomy is far safer than condoms, pills and withdrawal methods. A vasectomy does not alter male hormone levels or sexual response, it removes the live sperm cells from the seminal fluid. You will still have erections, orgasm and ejaculation. The operation involves removal of a small segment of both the right and left vas tubes (bilateral segmental Li open ended vasectomy).
It is very important to note that you will not be safe or sterile for a number of months after the operation. Sperm cells already "in the pipeline" live in the body for more than 2 - 3 months or more. You need to continue contraception until a check sperm count (semen analysis) is clear of any live sperm. If a post op sperm count shows small numbers of dead sperm, then sometimes this is enough to give “special clearance” to cease contraception.
Following your referral, an office consultation is carried out with Dr Coombes to go through your medical and surgical history, and to talk in detail about how a vasectomy is performed, including relevant risks and complications. It is really not necessary to bring your children with you, as they will distract you from concentrating on the discussion about important information ! You will be gently physically examined, as this can suggest whether there may be any surgical or anatomic difficulties (past scrotal or hernia surgery) which could be relevant to the operation or the possible post op risks. Hospital booking forms are then provided.
Dr Coombes carries out vasectomies through the Day Surgery Unit of North Shore Private Hospital each week. The operation duration is around 25 minutes and is performed under intravenous anaesthesia, together with nerve blocks, to minimise post op discomfort. This also minimises the risk of bruising or haematoma, such risk is increased by inexperienced operators or inadequate anaesthesia. You will need to abstain from food and drink for 6 hours prior to surgery, and you will need someone to pick you up to go home afterwards. You will usually be in the hospital for about 3 hours, to ensure your recovery is safe and complete. Post op, you should rest at home that evening. Do not plan major events or activity the first 24 - 48 hours. Avoid exercise and plane travel for at least a week.You will be given discharge instructions about the logistics of the post op sperm count, which is done at the 2 month mark, and monthly beyond that (if needed) until no live sperm are detected by the lab. If you fail to do the follow up sperm count, you cannot be assured that you will be "safe" !