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Find doctors who perform vasectomy and vasectomy reversal in your area and let walk you through the decision-making process.

Introduction: Conventional Vasectomy

The effectiveness of the vasectomy procedure, no matter the technique, is considered safe, reliable and convenient. As a male birth control procedure it is more that 99% effective. Conventional vasectomy is the original surgical method or technique used to perform vasectomies in North America. It is also known as "incisional" or "scalpel" vasectomy.

With conventional or scalpel vasectomy, the same end result is obtained as with the no-scalpel method. The main differentiation between the two methods is the way the doctor locates the vas deferens. The success rates of both approaches are no different, because the success rate is related to how the vas tubes are blocked, not how the doctor gets to the tubes.

To commence the surgery the vasectomy doctor needs to access the vas tubes (vas deferens). Locating the vas deferens using the conventional vasectomy is accomplished by making a small incision on either side of the scrotum.

» Define vas deferens / vas tubes

Of course, as a reader, you want to know which method is superior no-scalpel vasectomy or conventional vasectomy. Although numerous studies show a lower complication rate for no-scalpel vasectomy, when compared to conventional vasectomies, there is no substitute for experience.

Many highly experienced physicians doing conventional vasectomy obtain far better results with lower complication rates than those inexperienced physicians doing no-scalpel vasectomy.

This is why no matter which approach you may choose, you will always want to get answers to the following key questions regarding your physician's level of experience.

  • The number of procedures your doctor does per year.
  • The total number he has done in his career to date.
  • The complication rate your doctor has experienced performing the procedure, i.e., the rate of infection in his patients, the rate of major bleeding, the rate of procedure failure.

Keep in mind that both, conventional vasectomies and no-scalpel vasectomies, performed by an experienced vasectomy doctor is a simple and safe procedure that is better than 99% effective as a male birth control method.

When considering a vasectomy, keep in mind that the vasectomy procedure is regarded as permanent. Reversing a vasectomy (vasectomy reversal) is possible, but is costly, more involved and success is not guaranteed. Also, though it is not possible to cause pregnancy, vasectomy does not protect against spreading or contracting sexually transmitted diseases. So, though the contraceptive effect is desirable for a couple, much forethought should be given to the decision to have a vasectomy.

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