“Laser Vasectomy”

That little drawing by Dave Farley seems to sum up what every guy is afraid of when the “V” word comes up.

We’re living in the information age. Yet for most men, vasectomy = castration. Why is this? I’ve tried explaining to friends and anyone who asks about the procedure. How could this possibly come up in casual conversation, you might ask. It does. And I answer truthfully, much to the horror of most people not really wanting an answer. I even posted about my vasectomy back when it was done:

My vasectomy

It started out well. I was ushered into a small room with a padded table to get “undressed below the waist” and put the smock on “with the opening in the back”.

I did those things, and remained standing since I didn’t know protocol for sitting on furniture while wearing a smock with the opening in the back.

The nurse returned to have me sit on the table so she could ground me. This consisted of a large sticky pad applied to my hip (through the back of the smock since there was a handy opening there). When I asked why this was necessary, she told me it was required to allow the cauterization, which was done with electricity, so I needed to be grounded. Whatever — I write software.

After her departure I was alone only long enough to start worrying about having to pee soon. I had just gone, but my bladder was sending warning signals that it was filling up.

The Doctor arrived and got right to business. He had me lay back and started opening containers and tried to scare me by banging instruments on a rolling tray.

On looking back, it probably wasn’t the wisest thing I ever did, but I asked him about his schedule and if he was felling rushed. I tried to phrase it in very general terms since I had no reason to try to hurry things along. My day was pretty open.

I’m not sure I properly communicated my curiosity about a lifestyle constantly plagued by tardiness as opposed to upset at being slightly delayed for a non-critical procedure. He seemed a bit defensive of his lateness, explaining the need to perform an unforeseen procedure on an emergency basis.

During this discussion the Dr had lifted my smock, and continued to prep me. This consisted of grabbing my scrotum in one hand, massaging like a caffeine filled day-trader with a stress toy. He explained this was to “arrange things better” and then used both hands to manipulate and scoot testicles to some ideal arrangement that god and managed to miss in his infinite wisdom.

This surreal conversation continued with his interjected “this will be cold” (while slathering iodine from thighs to waist). At one point he even interrupted himself to say “little prick here”. I opened my mouth to defend the now red-colored cold and frightened turtle nestled in my crotch when I realized he was going to use a syringe.

I haven’t had a ton of experience with Novocaine, but I should have recalled dentists having difficulty achieving the proper numbness in my jaw.

Imagine my surprise to find my resistance to this anesthetic extends to all parts of my anatomy.

The Dr was very quick to apply liberal amounts once it became clear the initial injection wasn’t working. He completed the procedure with no loss of life or limb.

Overall, the time spent on my back was under 10 minutes. I could even watch to an extent, thanks to a reflection in the overhead surgical light.

Swelling and bruising are at a minimum, and everything seems to be progressing nicely.

That was several years back, and I’ve never regretted it. Explaining the difference between a few minutes of relatively minor discomfort to the alternative needed for a woman to be similarly “fixed” seems an exercise in futility though. Most men shrug off the prospect of major abdominal surgery for their significant other (SO) as part and parcel of being the one able to produce offspring.

For all you males out there, consider that a woman can need hormone therapy to correct the imbalance after the surgery, along with healing the not trivial incisions into her abdomen. And for us, it’s a long weekend lounging on the couch with a bag of frozen peas keeping our boys chilled.

Your SO will thank you for taking one for the team. Heck, you might even be able to wrangle a “therapeutic massage” into the deal because of your incredible altruism.

So, if faced with the “what now” question and you’re done with having or trying to have kids via your own plumbing, do the easy thing and rent some westerns and spend a couple days on the couch.