This section explains how patients can arrange a vasectomy (a form of male sterilisation where the tubes are blocked to stop sperm getting out) and what is involved.
Patients can either refer themselves or be referred by their GP. Both are welcome and there are no advantages to either route. Referrals for all vasectomy operations should be sent to:
2A Chalmers Street
0131 536 1512
See our film on the Vasectomy process in Lothian.
All men will have an assessment before going on the waiting list for a vasectomy. Where possible this will be done at a local clinic and needs to be carried out no matter what discussions have taken place with a GP. The assessment will involve discussion about your general health and past medical history. You will also be given detailed information about the vasectomy procedure, what to expect following the operation, failure rates and risks. You will be asked to sign consent forms before the operation can take place.
If it is agreed that you would be suitable to have the procedure under local anaesthetic, you can then go straight on the waiting list. If this is not the case, or if there is the possibility of technical difficulties during the operation, you can go on the waiting list for vasectomy under general anaesthetic.
After the Local Anaesthetic Procedure
After the procedure is complete you will be given detailed information about things you need to do, including seeking advice from your GP if there are any problems. You will also get instructions and equipment for collecting semen for analysis at 12 and 16 weeks. For the operation to be considered complete and successful two consecutive samples received after 12 and 16 weeks must be completely free of sperm.
We only send the results out when both samples have been received and tested by the pathology lab - so you won't hear anything immediately after the first sample has been sent. You will be sent one reminder if you do not submit samples, and we will make sure that the importance of sending them is explained at least twice before the operation. Please make sure that you do send them (about 12% of men don't), otherwise you can't be sure if it has succeeded.
If there are still sperm present in either sample then you will be asked to send further samples and will be sent relevant kit and instructions. If sperm persist you will be contacted to discuss further management. This may include further sample collection, discussion of special clearance or a re-do operation.
What We Tell the GP
We will let the GP know:
- the operation has taken place
- when the vasectomy is deemed complete and successful
- if early failure is suspected and we have had no response from patient
Men who require referral to the Urology Department should contact their GP in the first instance if they have problems.