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Open Ended Vasectomy : Whats the Deal?

January 14, 2015
open-ended-vasectomy (1)
Red arrows shows the lower end of the vas deferens containing sperm. An open ended vasectomy leaves this end open.

When a patient asks me about an open ended vasectomy I know they have done their research.

Most men are knowledgeable about no scalpel vasectomy. Even if they really can’t describe what a “no scalpel vasectomy procedure” actually is …they know it is a more acceptable way to perform a vasectomy. They may not be able to explain it but they usually understand it is a good idea not to have a sharp items near your family jewels!

Although most men know about no scalpel most are totally unaware of a variation of the no scalpel technique referred to as an open ended vasectomy. Unfortunately many men are unfamiliar with the benefits of open ended vasectomy.

Open Ended Vasectomy

All vasectomy procedures involve dividing each vas deferens (most men have two) and causing permanent blockage of sperm transport. The key to understanding what “open ended” means is understanding what is done with the lower half of the divided vas deferens.

If the lower end of the divided vas deferens is closed with anything (suture or a titanium clip) then this is considered a closed ended vasectomy.

If the lower end of the divided vas deferens is left open after the division then this is referred to as a open ended vasectomy.

What are benefits of open ended vasectomy?

Although it may not seem like a good idea to leave the lower end open because sperm could leak out of the end of the divided tube, an open ended vasectomy actually is reported to have two key benefits over closed ended vasectomy.

Less post vasectomy pain and higher chance of success with vasectomy reversal.

Open end vasectomy: Less pain

Less pain seems like a good idea after vasectomy..doesn’t it? When the lower end is closed off during a vasectomy, some vasectomy patients will experience a sudden (within days) build up of pressure in the lower end and this pressure can cause swelling and inflammation in the epididymis. This will occur soon after the vasectomy but is mostly noticed within the first 2 weeks.

This should improve gradually but why go through this if there is a chance you don’t have to?

Open end vasectomy: More reversible

Sperm are produced in the epididymis. If you have a closed end vasectomy and sudden pressure buildup in the lower end then this pressure increase will also happen in the epididymis. The increased pressure can cause disruption of the epididymis and an inflammatory response.

In the short run this inflammatory response can cause more pain and tenderness after vasectomy. In the long run it can cause the epididymal disruption, decreased sperm formation, and may cause vasectomy reversal (should you ever need one) to be less successful.

Dr.-Charles-W.-Monteith-Medical-DirectorBenefits of an open ended vasectomy

Although many medical experts debate if an open ended vasectomy decreases post vasectomy pain and is more reversible, most would agree an open ended vasectomy is not harmful and does not increase the risk of vasectomy complications. In fact many well done studies suggest an open ended vasectomy has the same low failure rate as other types of vas deferens closure.

At A Personal Choice, I perform an open ended vasectomy procedure. More specifically I perform no needle anesthesia (use an air injector for the anesthetic), no scalpel opening (use a small skin spreader to make a small opening), minimally invasive (single small opening), coagulation to divide the vas deferens (heat energy to divide the vas deferens), open ended (leaving the lower end open and allowed to maintain decompression) and fascial interposition (placing healthy tissue between the divided ends) vasectomy.

To schedule a single visit vasectomy appoint visit: Scheduling a Vasectomy Appointment with Dr. Monteith

If more information is needed then please call (919) 977-5050.

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