Vasectomy Costs and FAQS
When a man (or a couple) is considering a vasectomy, it's important to have all of their concerns alleviated. Here is a list of some of the frequently asked questions Dr. Fisch has encountered.
Vasectomy is a simple operation that makes a man unable to father a child. The procedure blocks or cuts the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles. After vasectomy, a man’s semen (the fluid a man ejaculates during orgasm) contains no sperm, so he cannot make a woman pregnant.
Dr. Fisch’s initial consultation fee is $175, during which time a patient can expect to spend 15 to 30 minutes with Dr. Fisch. The surgical fee for a no-scalpel, no-needle vasectomy is $2,500. All follow-up care, including direct access to Dr. Fisch via cellphone, is included in Dr. Fisch’s surgical fee. Costs charged by the Manhattan Surgery Center and for anesthesia are normally covered by insurance plans.
Dr. Fisch’s administrator can assist in helping the patient communicate with health insurance carriers to evaluate coverage availability. Many patients prefer not to be restricted by their insurance plan when it comes to choosing a surgeon for a procedure as sensitive as a vasectomy.
Vasectomy has no effect on a man’s sex drive, testosterone levels, erections, orgasms, or how much semen he ejaculates. Many men who have undergone the procedure, and their partners, find that sex is more spontaneous and enjoyable because they no longer have the inconvenience or concerns about contraceptives such as condoms or a diaphragm. They also don’t have to worry about an accidental pregnancy.
There are two main techniques for performing vasectomy, but all of them block or cut the two tubes, called the vas deferens, that carry sperm cells from the testicles.
Conventional vasectomy. In this approach, a physician makes one or two small cuts in the skin of the scrotum, which has been numbed with a local anesthetic. The vas deferens are cut, and a small piece may be removed. Next, the doctor ties or clips the cut ends and sews up the scrotal incision.
No-scalpel vasectomy. An improved vasectomy method called no-scalpel vasectomy has been used in the United States in 1988. This method produces less pain and fewer complications than conventional vasectomy. Dr. Fisch uses a no-scalpel method that doesn’t involve any needles: An instrument called a MadaJet delivers a stream of anesthetic so fine that it penetrates the skin and numbs the scrotal tissue. Dr. Fisch then feels for the vas deferens under the skin of the scrotum and holds them in place with a small clamp. A special instrument is used to make a tiny puncture in the skin and stretch the opening so the vas deferens can be cut and cauterized and tied. This approach produces very little bleeding and requires no stitches.
You can have sex two days after your vasectomy, but remember that you must continue to use some type of contraception until a semen analysis test confirms that you are sterile! It generally takes about eight weeks and 20 ejaculations to completely clear out the sperm that remain in the reproductive system after the vas deferens have been cut. In some cases following a vasectomy, men will not be sperm-free for five or six months.
Vasectomy is relatively inexpensive and often covered by insurance or state grant programs. It’s a permanent and highly dependable form of birth control that reduces the hassle and worry of contraception. Compared to female sterilization, it’s less expensive, easier to reverse and poses less medical risk. Finally, it eliminates risks to female partners of oral contraceptives or IUDs.
On the other hand, the permanence of vasectomy can be a disadvantage if a man later decides he wants to father children. Reversing a vasectomy is possible, but it’s a difficult and expensive operation with no guarantee of success. Also, vasectomy does not protect against AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases.
Any medical procedure, no matter how minor, carries a degree of risk. No-scalpel vasectomy is no different, though the risks are quite low and are lower than conventional vasectomy. Possible risks include:
- bleeding or bruising (typically minor),
- vasectomy failure (possible but very rare),
- sperm granuloma (a hard, pea-sized lump that results from sperm leaking from the cut end of the vas deferens; these are not harmful and typically disappear with time), or
- congestion (a sense of fullness or pressure in the scrotum, which typically resolves itself with time).
The vast majority of men have little or no post-procedure pain. You can resume light activity the day after a vasectomy and full activity two days after the vasectomy. Some of my patients feel so well after the procedure that they resume activity too early, and then feel a bit of discomfort - which is the body's way of telling them to slow down and let their body recover.
Only about 1 in 1,000 men will have enough discomfort to request a prescription pain medication.