Something new

Dec 08 2011 Published by under [Life Trajectories]

In 2008, Abel Pharmboy live-blogged his vasectomy using a Palm Treo 700p. By today's smart phone standards, that's a bit like calling home with this:

Abel had the traditional procedure done, that includes an incision of slightly less than an inch at the base of the scrotum. While a fairly quick and complication-free procedure, most men experience significant discomfort for a few days following the surgery.

The good news is that there is better phone technology and approaches to vasectomy these days. I bring this up for two reasons. First because I'm going to be have a vasectomy in a few days, and second, because I'm finally going to cave and take to twitter (ProfLikeSubst) to chronicle the experience.

Why am I going to publicize a personal medical procedure? Well, because I don't think we (as a society) talk a lot about men being responsible for contraception. Outside of condoms, virtually all other types of readily available birth control are lady business. Whereas a vasectomy is not the kind of thing you do unless you are done having kids, the idea that women should be responsible for birth control typically lasts long past the point where a couple has decided not to have more kids. This is often justified in the "But what if we suddenly change our mind based on unforeseen future circumstances!" But I'm betting that more often than not, this is just a convenient excuse not to have to go under the knife.

And this is another reason why I want to blog/tweet about my vasectomy - because I'm not doing the traditional method that Abel has already covered. Instead I'm doing the "no scalpel vasectomy" that uses a small puncture rather than a large incision. Yes, things still get cut and closed off, etc., but there are no stitches afterward and apparently a shorter recovery time.

Abel's post has served as a useful source of information for me and hopefully my coverage will help others make a choice in the future. I will recap things on the blog next week to those who are twitter averse, since I should have some time sitting around afterwards. Otherwise, you can get the live action on twitter. Hopefully I'm fast with this new medium, since the procedure is supposed to be about 12 minutes.

After spending several hours in the chair of a tattoo parlor, this should be a piece of cake!

31 responses so far

  • scicurious says:

    I could say I'm looking forward to this...but... 🙂

  • odyssey says:

    That would be @ProfLikeSubst. #twittern00b 🙂

  • Sxydocma1 says:

    Off topic, but after I commented on your post regarding the incident sheet or the clothes bag, when I picked my daughter up from preschool, there was a clothes bag in her cubby!And, I was greeted by an inconsolable crying 5 year old who had a poop accident. Maybe the incident sheet is better.

    Good luck tweeting the procedure.

  • Heavy says:

    The procedure aint that bad, even the one with the incisions. I went to work immediately afterward.

  • tideliar says:

    my taint just puckered so hard i sucked my chair up my ass.

    #MFJ bro

  • Lab Rockstar says:

    Good for you, PLS! You rock! Twitter that shit all over the place.

  • Uh, can you tag this post dickhurt?

  • proflikesubstance says:

    I think it'll technically be scrothurt.

  • Good on you for being responsible.

    I had the same procedure several years ago. Quick, easy, and reliable.

    One comment - I don't want to prejudice you, but . . . [SPOILER WARNING] . . .

    it's not quite a cakewalk. The discomfort is minor, but real; the swelling is very real. And you may still get a couple of stitches.

    Oh, yeah: if you do the old trick of using a bag of frozen peas as a compress to help with the swelling, get in the habit of asking "Where did these peas come from?" every time your wife/GF cooks dinner for at least a few weeks. May head off an unpleasant surprise.

  • proflikesubstance says:

    I don't expect a cake walk and clearly there will be some discomfort. That said, 10 minutes is ten minutes and I'm betting it is a helluva lot easier than a c-section in both the Op and Post-op discomfort.

  • Busy says:

    But I'm betting that more often than not, this is just a convenient excuse not to have to go under the knife.

    I used to think that, and I nearly underwent the procedure myself five years ago. I was travelling that Summer so I postponed the procedure for the Fall. Little did I know that by then I would be separated, and that three years later I would be in a committed relationship. Two years later we are thinking about starting a family.

  • proflikesubstance says:

    There are always exceptions, but generally...

  • Ink says:

    Good luck--hope the procedure is painless!

    Think it's cool that you're going to tweet/blog it. Rock on, my friend.

  • Dr. O says:

    This definitely rocks, er, is very cool, PLS. 🙂

  • pyrope says:

    Is there a tattoo parlor story or just a complex piece of art?

  • anon says:

    Have you thought about freezing some samples before doing this? I don't think it's that expensive to maintain, and it's just in case.. who knows. This procedure is reversible (in most cases), but becomes less reversible with time. Hopefully, you will never need this, but it's a means of providing yourself with this option if a need presents itself in the future.

  • proflikesubstance says:

    Is there a tattoo parlor story or just a complex piece of art?

    Nothing crazy, just a couple of visits add up after a bit.

    And no, no frozen boys. Probably a little late for that now.

  • KateClancy says:

    Fantastic! So glad you're sharing, and nice to have you on Twitter.

    Anon: As someone who has a few fertilized eggs banked because my husband is infertile due to cancer treatment... it's expensive to maintain. Maybe sperm is cheaper, but banking does cost money.

  • CoR says:

    Well, PLS likely has ready access to a -80. Total do it yourself type, too. Good idea, but make sure the samples are clearly labeled.

  • Natalie says:

    Eww Cackle. As the tech most often saddled with the responsibility of going through the minus 80...definitely not in my job description. Gah.

  • drugmonkey says:

    is there a DIY protocol for proper stabilization Cackle?

  • anon says:

    KC - long term storage is cheaper than short-term. There are expenses associated with the protocol used for freezing, etc. Like I said, I really hope PLS will never need this. But this expense may end up being cheaper than other options, should the need come up. Here is a site, as an example: http://www.spermbankcalifornia.com/sperm-bank-cost.html. Sperm storage is the same as that for embies, but it may depend on the number of samples.

  • Namnezia says:

    is there a DIY protocol for proper stabilization Cackle?

    You can make a cryoprotectant solution with egg yolks+water, about 1/2 M sucrose and some bicarb for buffering. Then slow freeze in the -80C.

  • CoR says:

    What Nam said. I bet we could all do it given the right equipment :-O

  • proflikesubstance says:

    Great idea! And then Safety and Risk will come by and ask "What are these freezer vials labeled 'PI Semen'? I don't see an MSDS. Do you have a SOP in case of a spill?"

    I think I'll be taking my chances, but thanks for the suggestions.

  • chall says:

    wow PLS, best of luck for the procedure in itself! Sounds interesting with an "alternative to the regular (old?) one".

    As for the DIY, I'd think that would be different from cryopreserve eggs? Although, I guess the main problem with that idea is to get procure them? The freezing might face similar problems now that I think about it..... maybe a new line of work if funding dries up?

  • You're Pfizered says:

    This procedure is reversible

    My doc basically told me that this statement is theoretically true, but practically less so.

    His advice was that re-hooking the pipes isn't a simple, non-evasive procedure. Told me it wasn't something you really want to do, so be sure you're making the right choice....

    The over-all procedure wasn't bad (ask for Tylenol III), it's having to bring in a sample for analysis to make sure they snipped the right pipes. Nothing more humbling than handing a specimen jar of semen to a nurse. Twice. Flip side is, don't take this part lightly, or ignore it like some do. My brother-in-law had to have the procedure twice because he still had lives ones in the pool after the first procedure.

  • Abel / David says:

    *tears in my eyes*

    I'm truly honored, my dear friend, to see you sacking up and taking responsibility for family contraception. I can't believe that anyone still reads my old post but I'm glad you found it.

    Just a couple of things. My urologist at Duke told me not to worry if we wanted to have another child down the road. He said that he could just suck out sperm from my disconnected testes, bragging that he could do IVF with only about 20 or 30 sperm. I'm not sure that will make you feel better but I put it out there.

    Re You're Pfizered, the only thing that offsets the embarrassment of handing over the test sample of post-snip semen is the prior recommendation of requiring 25-30 ejaculations to clear out the pipes prior to the final check. Of course, you won't be thinking about sex for the next few days - I think I was ordered to abstain for 7-10 days.

  • [...] should be clear by now, I was a bit busy yesterday afternoon having my vas deferens cut and cauterized. In an attempt to [...]

  • You're Pfizered says:

    Re You're Pfizered, the only thing that offsets the embarrassment of handing over the test sample of post-snip semen is the prior recommendation of requiring 25-30 ejaculations to clear out the pipes prior to the final check. Of course, you won't be thinking about sex for the next few days - I think I was ordered to abstain for 7-10 days.

    Yeah, I don't recall how many test fires were recommended prior to the actual analysis. That seems high, but maybe it was your doc's way of giving you carte blanche to go blind...

  • proflikesubstance says:

    10-15 for the first, 30 for the second.

Leave a Reply