Several conference tournaments are underway, Selection Sunday is on the calendar and many fans are already penciling in their brackets. March Madness is synonymous with basketball, but it’s also become the most popular time of year for a particular men’s health issue – fertility. If you’ve been getting the full court press to have a vasectomy or the shot clock is winding down on your chance to have a your vasectomy reversed, this year’s NCAA tournament is the perfect time to schedule a surgery and spend time recovering on the couch. The Urology Center of Colorado (TUCC), the only comprehensive urology center in the Rocky Mountain region, has appointments available for men throughout the tournament.
“Urologists across the country have seen a substantial increase in the number of men scheduling vasectomies during the NCAA tournament over the past few years,” said Jesse Mills, M.D., urologist and men’s health specialist at TUCC. “It makes sense. Vasectomies are actually associated with fewer complications than a woman getting her tubes tied. And since the surgery involves a brief recovery period why not schedule it when you can watch six college basketball games in a row?”
In March 2012, TUCC experienced a significant uptick in the number of vasectomies its surgeons performed over the center’s typical month-to-month volume. A 2012 report from urologists at the Cleveland Clinic also revealed that urology practices can see as much as a 50 percent increase in the number of vasectomies scheduled during the NCAA tournament.
Lasting just 30 minutes, vasectomies are performed as an outpatient procedure. During the surgery, the vas deferens is cut and closed off from each testicle to prevent the release of sperm. The vas deferens is first gathered under one side of the skin of the scrotum to make an incision. A surgeon then pulls through the incision, cuts in two places and a one-centimeter segment is removed. Each end of the vas deferens is surgically tied off or clipped and placed back in the scrotum. The procedure is then repeated on the other side.
With a no-scalpel vasectomy, a puncture incision is made in the vas deferens with special forceps. The advantages of this procedure include a faster operating time, minimal postoperative pain and a decreased risk of bleeding and infection. Both scalpel and non-scalpel vasectomies are performed at TUCC.
Men are encouraged to take a few days to recover following their vasectomies by resting with an ice pack, placing their feet in an elevated position and avoiding excessive movements. Vasectomies have no effect on a man’s ejaculation or his sex drive. Semen samples are checked at six and 12 weeks following the procedure. Unprotected sex is not recommended until follow-up lab tests come back sperm free.
For men whose life situations have changed and would like to have more children, vasectomy reversals are also performed as an outpatient procedure. Vasectomy reversals last approximately two hours and are performed to restore the flow of sperm to the vas deferens. A surgeon performing a vasectomy reversal will use an operating microscope and ultra-fine sutures to reattach the inner and outer layers of the vas deferens.
A vasectomy reversal is a more complicated procedure than a vasectomy and, as such, a two-week recovery period is usually recommended. Success rates of vasectomy reversals are high. The most important factors contributing to the success of the surgery are the experience of the surgeon, the amount of time since the vasectomy and the quality of sperm fluid at the time of retrieval. TUCC performs more successful vasectomy reversals than any other urology practice in the Rocky Mountain region.
“Vasectomy reversals are minimally invasive, safe and can offer a successful fertility solution for couples,” said Dr. Mills. “Patients should remain on bed rest for the first 24-hours after a vasectomy reversal. That postoperative recommendation alone is another good reason for men to schedule their vasectomy reversals during the NCAA tournament.”
TUCC surgeons perform the most vasectomies in the Rocky Mountain region. Dr. Mills is also the region’s top-performing vasectomy reversal surgeon. For more information on vasectomies and vasectomy reversals at TUCC or to schedule your surgery during the 2013 NCAA tournament, please visit www.tucc.com or call 303.783.2793.