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Vasectomy Information

Vasectomy Information


    The intention of a vasectomy is to make a man sterile and no longer capable of fathering further children. You should therefore not think about having a vasectomy unless you are absolutely sure that you will never want another child. Vasectomy reversal is not funded by the NHS.

    Please note at Sandyford the vasectomy procedure is only performed under local anaesthetic. If you would prefer the procedure performed under general anaesthetic, we can discuss this at your appointment and refer as appropriate.

    It is also important that we have a current record of your Body Mass Index (BMI). This is a measurement of your height and your current weight. If your BMI is above 35 then the procedure will be delayed. The reasons for this are because it will make the procedure technically more difficult and there is a greater risk of complications.

    Further information is available on the Sandyford video and should be viewed prior to your pre-op appointment on the Vasectomy page of the Sandyford Services website.


    Vasectomy Pre Op Discussion

    If you wish to proceed, a pre-op appointment should be made at Sandyford Central in Glasgow (telephone 0141 211 8654 for an appointment).

    During this appointment any concerns or questions you have will be answered. If you have not watched the video, you will be asked to view this at the start of your appointment. There will be an opportunity to discuss in confidence any questions or issues you may have regarding vasectomy.

    If you wish to proceed, you will sign your consent form and you can then make the appointment for your operation.

    The Vasectomy Procedure

    The aim of the procedure is to remove a portion of the tube (Vas deferens) from both sides of the scrotum. To achieve this, local anaesthetic is injected under the skin on either side of the scrotum.

    A small cut is made in the skin and a small portion of the tube is removed. The ends of the tube are then destroyed by passing a small electrical needle down the centre of each tube. A single stitch may be used to close the wound on the skin. The stitches normally dissolve themselves within 1-3 weeks.

    Please note, the doctor will complete one side of the procedure before starting on the other.

    There is a rare risk of surgical complications following a vasectomy, which could result in the loss of a testicle. This risk is less than 1 in 20,000 procedures.

    Please eat and drink as normal on the morning of your operation.


    It is important that you shave the scrotal skin the evening before the operation.

    • Do not wax or use hair removing creams.
    • Please shave off all scrotal hair and around the base of the penis. This is to decrease the risk of infection.

    Failure to shave may result in the procedure not being carried out.

    After the Procedure

    There will be some discomfort for at least 48 hours. Almost all clients will have bruising and swelling.  Keeping the scrotum well supported for the first few days can reduce this and can be achieved by wearing tight supporting underwear.

    To aid your recovery, we advise that you take a couple of days off work.


    After the procedure you will be given a specimen container and form that will be needed for your sample. 16 weeks after the procedure, you will need to submit a sample to the laboratory at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, within 2 hours of production. You can also produce a sample at the laboratory by making an appointment before your visit.

    A negative specimen is required to confirm that the procedure has been successful. If the specimen shows the presence of sperm, a further container will be sent to you. It can take up to 12 months to confirm the procedure has been successful.

    It is extremely important that contraception is continued to be used until we have informed you of the success of your vasectomy. Regular ejaculation helps clear the sperm.


    Once we have received a sample free of sperm, we will inform you and your G.P. of the vasectomy success. Once you have received this confirmation, it will not be necessary to use further contraception.

    The letter will be sent to you approximately 4 weeks after the sample has been received. Please do not phone for results, we will contact you by post.

    Failure/Risk of Pregnancy

    The initial risk that the operation has not worked is 1:100 men. This will be picked up by the samples you send in. If this occurs the operation will need to be repeated.

    Once the operation has been confirmed as successful, the risk of pregnancy is 1:1000 after 5 years and 1:5000 after 10 years.