Intraveous sedation can be thought of as a light general anaesthetic, making you sleepy but breathing for yourself. It’s not an answer to needle phobia though…
IV Sedation is performed by a specialist doctor (anaesthetist) in accredited ‘day surgery units’ – providing facilities to treat potentially life threatening complications of sedation. Information regarding the risks of sedation are well documented by Queensland Health.
Vasectomy under sedation is expensive compared to vasectomy under local anaesthetic. Private health insurance may cover the hospital fee but you may still have anaesthetist and surgeon gap fees to pay.
The 2015 national US Vasectomy guideline makes a positive recommendation that ‘Vasectomy should be performed with local anesthesia with or without oral sedation’ (statement 5). Intravenous sedation is not required for the vast majority of No Scalpel Vasectomy. Further, our post-vasectomy feedback questionnaires indicate that satisfaction with local-anaesthetic vasectomy is very high.
So, who does need sedation?
Men with very challenging anatomy may be required to have a vasectomy under intravenous sedation. Why? Because men with very challenging anatomy may feel more during the procedure. In addition, the testicles drop by around 2-3 cm during deep sedation. Dr Beatty refers approximately 2% of men for a vasectomy under sedation.