Dear Tell All: As much as I enjoyed your humor at the expense of the frightened man ("Bashful") who wrote in after canceling his appointment for a vasectomy (6/19/09), it seems important to add some information to your funny disinformation parody of the no-scalpel vasectomy procedure.
If a family is seeking permanent birth control, vasectomy is the safest, most effective and least expensive means of preventing unwanted pregnancy.
The no-scalpel vasectomy procedure is performed under local anesthetic in the office, painlessly, in about 30-45 minutes. A single opening the size of a buttonhole on a dress shirt allows the surgeon to bring a loop of the vas deferens outside the scrotal sac, interrupt the tubing to stop the passage of sperm, and return the tissue to its original position. Then the tube from the other side is treated through the same opening. Total blood loss is usually negligible. A day or two of rest and avoidance of active exertion usually is necessary to avoid post-op discomfort and bruising. Sexual activity should resume within one week.
Thanks for the opportunity to share the not-very-scary truth, Tell All.
"Bashful" is not alone in his ignorance and fear. Several times each year, at our office, men fail to show up for pre-vasectomy evaluation and discussion visits, usually without canceling the appointment. Those brave enough to face the discussion almost never back out of the procedure, and often verbalize afterward, "If I had known how easy this was, I'd have been here years ago."
Dear Tell All: My husband caved to my pressure to go see Dr. Snips-a-lot. Went to a licensed, mainstream, normal, on-the-insurance-list urologist.
Ended up with a NASTY infection, HORRIBLE recovery and now is permanently the size of a small orange. It was recommended to him to have the scar tissue removed, with no guarantee it wouldn't return.
We are college-educated, well-rounded individuals. We followed the recovery directions to a T. Please don't say a vasectomy is without risk! We are living proof that it is not!
Thanks for giving us both sides of the story. I suspect that many male readers will feel an ache in their own small oranges after reading Regretful Wife's tale.