St Thomas Vasectomy Clinic
No- Scalpel Vasectomies at St Thomas Health Centre
Dr Watson and Dr Wise, both St Thomas GP’s, are fully trained and accredited to perform No-Scalpel Vasectomy.
Dr Watson (left) has been a member of the British Association of No-Scalpel Vasectomy for 12 years. Since introducing the procedure to the South West in 2003, he has completed over 2,800 operations and is an accredited trainer in the technique.
Dr Wise (right) is fully trained and accredited to perform the no-scalpel vasectomy . He is also a member of the British Association of No-Scalpel Vasectomy.
St Thomas Vasectomy Clinic
We accept referrals from all GP’s in the Devon area and aim to offer an appointment within 4 weeks. We have clinics on Friday and Saturday and are able to provide a one-stop service at your request. If you prefer an informal discussion before committing to the procedure, we offer one-to-one counselling appointments on a Friday afternoon and would then arrange the vasectomy itself within 4 weeks.
We also provide a dedicated advice and support line for any questions or queries you may have before or after your surgery.
Questions and Answers
What is a Vasectomy?
- Vasectomy is a simple surgical procedure for permanent male fertility control, in which the tube (vas deferens) leading from each testicle is cut and sealed in order to stop sperm from reaching the prostate, where it mixes with the semen. Without sperm in the semen a man cannot make his partner pregnant.
How can I be sure I want one?
- Be absolutely sure you don’t want to father a child under any circumstances. Talk to your partner: it’s essential to make the decision together. Consider other kinds of birth control as well. A vasectomy might not be right for you if you are very young, your current relationship is not stable, you are having the vasectomy just to please your partner, or if you are under a lot of stress.
What is No-Scalpel Vasectomy?
- A recent advancement in vasectomy technique is the No-Scalpel Vasectomy. Instead of two incisions the physician makes one tiny opening with a special instrument. The tubes are then blocked using a cautery method. There is very little bleeding and no stitches are needed.
- The technique was first developed in China in 1974 by Dr Shunqiang Li and has since been adopted internationally due to its quicker recovery time and lower complication rate than the conventional method. It is now the technique recommended by the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare.
What are the advantages of No-Scalpel Vasectomy?
- Compared to traditional methods, a no-scalpel vasectomy takes less time, typically 20-30 minutes, causes less discomfort, there is less chance of bleeding and other complications, and the recovery time is shorter. It is also just as effective.
Is No-Scalpel Vasectomy safe?
- Vasectomy is generally safe and simple and most men do not have any problems. As with any operation there are some risks such as bleeding, bruising or infection. However, serious problems are very rare; less than 1 in 100 cases have even a minor problem.
Is it painful?
- Before the vasectomy if you feel especially nervous, we can give you a mild sedative to be taken an hour beforehand to relax you. When the local anaesthetic is injected into the skin of the scrotum you will feel some discomfort, but as soon as it takes effect you should feel no pain.
- Afterwards you may be sore for 2-3 days and if so we recommend a simple painkiller such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to settle things down.
How soon can I go back to work?
- All people heal differently. If you have your procedure on a Friday or Saturday you can expect to be back at work on Monday morning, having rested through the weekend. Those in strenuous physical jobs may need a few days longer on light duties.
Will Vasectomy change me sexually?
- Your vasectomy will have no effect on your erections, sex drive, hormone levels, or performance in any way. Some people feel sex is more spontaneous and enjoyable when there is no fear of an unwanted pregnancy.
- Most patients can resume intercourse within the first week following their vasectomy. You must continue to use effective birth control until a post vasectomy semen test shows there are no sperm present.
How will Vasectomy affect me?
- A vasectomy will leave you unchanged except for the fact that the sperm cord (vas deferens) is blocked. The testes still produce sperm, but the sperm die and are absorbed by the body.
- Since the ejaculate is mostly seminal fluid its volume decreases only a little after a vasectomy. The level of testosterone, the male hormone, remains the same and all sexual characteristics remain the same. Your ability to have an erection is also entirely unchanged.
Will I be sterile right away?
- No. After a vasectomy there are always some active sperm left in your system. It takes about 20 ejaculations to clear them. You and your partner should use some other form of birth control until a semen test after the vasectomy has proven you are clear of sperm. This test is performed 16 weeks after the procedure to allow the system time to clear.
Does Vasectomy cause any medical problems?
- Medical experts, including special panels convened by the World Health Organisation, have concluded that vasectomy is a safe procedure. Many studies have looked at the long term health effects and the research evidence continues to be reassuring and suggests that following vasectomy men are no more likely to go on to develop heart disease, cancer or other illnesses.
Can a No-Scalpel Vasectomy be reversed?
- Although it is possible to reverse a vasectomy, this is an expensive procedure and requires several hours of micro-surgery. It is not always successful.
- Vasectomy should be considered a permanent method of contraception and if you are thinking about reversal perhaps it is not right for you.
From left to right:
Dr Watson, Jennie Rhodes (Secretary), Dr Wise, Heather Baker (Nurse)
“Very happy with all aspects of the service and procedure. Made to feel at ease from the start to finish and kept informed during procedure of what was happening. Hardly felt a thing. Thank you very much”
“I thought it was excellent. Everyone should have one ! No complaints at all. Thanks”
“Excellent in every way. It was great to be able to come in on a Saturday. I appreciate you giving up your weekend to help me. Everyone was very kind and caring. Thank You”