What is a no-scalpel vasectomy (NSV)?

Updated: Jan 19, 2016
  • Author: M David Stockton, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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Vasectomy is the most popular form of permanent surgical birth control for men. In 2002, an estimated 526,501 vasectomies were performed in the United States, which is a rate of 10.2/1,000 in men aged 25-49 years. Recently released American Urologic Association (AUA) guidelines concluded that vasectomy as a permanent contraceptive procedure should be considered more frequently than current practice. [1] The no-scalpel vasectomy (NSV), originally developed in China in 1974 and first introduced in the United States in 1984, is an innovative approach to exposing the vas deferens using 2 specialized surgical instruments. [2] A recent Cochrane Review concluded that the NSV, as compared to traditional incisional technique, resulted in less bleeding, hematoma, infection, and pain, and a shorter operative time. [3, 4] According to one study, 37.8% of physicians, including urologists, family practitioners, and general surgeons, were using the NSV technique by 2002. [5]

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