Full sedation is a ‘general anaesthetic’ (GA) requiring an anaesthetist with access to the full paraphernalia of emergency care. A vasectomy rarely needs to be performed under sedation.
Local anaesthetic vasectomy using no-needle anaesthesia is safe, quick and painless. The 2015 national US Vasectomy guideline makes a positive recommendation that local anaesthetic is routine used: ‘Vasectomy should be performed with local anesthesia with or without oral sedation’ (statement 5).
In The UK, vasectomy under GA is almost unheard of. Satisfaction with local-anaesthetic vasectomy is very high.
There are very few patients who are not nervous about having a vasectomy. However, there are lots of ways to reduce anxiety – and a GA is, in Dr Beatty’s opinion, a last resort for guys who have extreme anxiety. GA is also suited for guys with challenging anatomy because the testicles drop by around 2cm during a general anaesthetic. The pre-vasectomy consultation will pick up any issues requiring a referral for vasectomy under a general anaesthetic.