A vasectomy is an approximately 30-minute outpatient procedure in which the tubes that carry sperm from the testes are cut and blocked for purposes of contraception. This reversible operation does not impact sexual function and is far less invasive than the tubal ligation procedure employed for contraceptive purposes in women. It’s also one of the most common procedures provided by urologists, with half a million vasectomies performed annually in the United States. After the patient receives a local anesthetic, a small incision is made in the scrotum so that the vas deferens can be pulled through, cut in two places and a small portion (about one centimeter long) removed. Next, both ends of the vas deferens are tied off or clipped and placed back inside the scrotum. An alternative form of this surgery that is gaining in use is called a “no-scalpel” vasectomy. It is performed through a small puncture hole rather than an incision, and can result in fewer post-operative complications (such as bleeding and infection) while reducing pain and discomfort for the patient.