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Business Structure Evaluation Process Updates

We're currently conducting an evaluation of Lee Health's business structure. Explore all available documents and dive deeper into the process by learning more here. Lee Health’s Board of Directors invites you to a public hearing, set for Thursday, April 25th in the Community Room at Gulf Coast Medical Center, to discuss the ongoing evaluation of converting the health system to a community-focused nonprofit structure. Learn more details here.

Vasectomy & Vasectomy Reversal

What is a vasectomy? 

A vasectomy is a simple procedure for men that provides a highly successful, permanent form of birth control. The procedure helps blocks sperm from reaching the semen. The procedure is done by cutting and sealing the tubes that carry sperm. Semen still exists, but it has no sperm in it.

The common male sterilization procedure is a minor surgery that does not negatively affect male sexual performance. This procedure is for individuals or couples who are sure on their decision to not have children in the future. Almost all vasectomies can be reversed, however they are not always effective as it is considered a permanent form of birth control. Find more information about vasectomy reversals below. 

What are the risks of a vasectomy?

For most men, a vasectomy doesn't cause any noticeable side effects, and serious complications are rare. Here are some symptoms you might experience after your procedure:

  • Bleeding or a blood clot (hematoma) inside the scrotum
  • Blood in your semen
  • Bruising of your scrotum
  • Infection of the surgery site
  • Mild pain or discomfort
  • Swelling

You might feel minor pain and pulling or tugging during surgery, but severe pain is rare. There's also very little risk that your testicles, penis or other parts of your reproductive system will be injured during surgery. Vasectomies  do not affect male sexual performance. 

What to Expect During a Vasectomy

Before your procedure

Your physician will make sure this is the right form of birth control for you. You can discuss different options and be made aware of the risks and permanent birth control solutions. If the procedure is deemed right for you, your physician will provide you will all pre-op directions. 

During your procedure

A vasectomy is usually done at a doctor's office or surgery center under local anesthesia, which means you'll be awake and have medicine to numb the surgery area. The entire procedure often lasts less than 30 minutes.

Once the procedure is done you'll be able to rest until you are ready to go home. It is recommended you have an alternative mode of transportation. 

Recovering from your procedure

Following a vasectomy, you'll have some bruising, swelling and pain. It usually gets better within a few days. To help make your recovery more comfortable, follow the tips below.

  • Stay off your feet as much as possible for the first  2 days.
  • Wear an athletic supporter or snug cotton briefs for support.
  • Reduce swelling by using an ice pack. 
  • Take medicines with acetaminophen to ease any mild pain. Don’t use aspirin.
  • Wait 48 hours before bathing.
  • Don't do any heavy lifting or exercise for 7 days.
  • Ask your healthcare provider how long to wait before having sex again. Remember: You must use another form of birth control until you’re completely sterile.

A vasectomy is an effective form of birth control, but it won't protect you or your partner from sexually transmitted infections. Remember that a vasectomy doesn't provide immediate protection against pregnancy so use a follow-up form of birth control until you're sterile. 

Vasectomy Reversal

A Vasectomy Reversal, sometimes known as a Vasovasostomy, can restore fertility in those men who have previously had a vasectomy. A vasectomy reversal is a minimally invasive procedure that can anywhere from 2-4 hours. Your vasectomy reversal will be performed as an outpatient procedure and you will be under general anesthesia. 

Recovery for a vasectomy reversal is slightly longer but most patients do not require significant pain medication after 48 hours. Men are typically able to perform most non-strenuous activities after 24 to 48 hours. It is recommended to not have sex for two to four weeks after surgery to ensure proper healing. 

Success rates depend primarily on the time since vasectomy, however success rates for vasectomy reversals are universally high. 

If you have any questions about a  vasectomy or vasectomy reversals please call your Lee Health Physician.