No-scalpel technique becoming vasectomy procedure of choice


by JIM BERGAMO / KVUE News and photojournalist JOHN GUSKY

Bio | Email | Follow: @JimB_KVUE

Posted on March 27, 2013 at 6:29 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 27 at 6:41 PM

AUSTIN -- About half a million men in this country get a vasectomy each year. However, some men admit they just can't get past the thought of a traditional vasectomy that requires two small incisions with a scalpel. Now there's a technique that requires no scalpels but still allows men some serious couch potato time when they want it most.

Andrew Brunone will tell you life has been good. He's been married for almost a decade. He and his wife have three little boys.

"My wife is incredible," he said. "She does an amazing job around the house, especially wrangling the three little monsters that we've got, but it's a lot of fun."  

Fun and a lot of work, so Brunone and his wife decided three kids were enough. He's decided to get a vasectomy. The good news for him is that a no-scalpel procedure is now a viable option.

"Anything we can do to be a little bit minimally invasive that's a good thing for me," said Brunone.

Traditional vasectomies require doctors to make two incisions on the scrotum to allow access to the vas deferens tube which is then cut. The no-scalpel technique requires only a slight puncture hole, and no incisions.

"You can see it, and it's very tiny," said Carl Bischoff, M.D., a urologist with Urology Austin. "It's (such a small hole) that often times we don't put a suture. Sometimes we just leave it open because it seals together so quick."

Even though it's a less invasive procedure -- like the traditional vasectomy -- the no scalpel procedure still requires patients to stay off their feet for the first 24 - 48 hours. Bischoff says urologists frequently see an increase in vasectomy procedures during the NCAA basketball tournament -- AKA -- March Madness. It's exactly the reason Brunone schedule his procedure this coming Friday.

"For me, yes, any excuse to watch sports and sit on the couch I'm all in," said Brunone. "Ironically I actually wanted to do it back during (college football) bowl season, so I could catch a little A&M and Oklahoma action but I knew I would be celebrating quite a bit with the Aggies. I don't want to be jumping up and down too much. Fortunately the Aggies are not in the tournament so I don't have too much riding on this one other than a little bracket action."

Bischoff says because it's usually young, healthy men that come in to get a vasectomy, urologists are often the first doctors to make them aware of other health issues, such as prostate health and low-T or low testosterone.

Click here to visit Urology Austin's website.


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