Vasectomy is a medical procedure that can take no longer than 15 to 30 minutes in the clinic of any qualified doctor. It only requires local anesthetic and usually has zero complications. However, in cases where the patient has anxiety or scrotal examination is difficult to perform, the procedure may also be done under sedation. Only a board-certified urologist, also known as a urologic surgeon, should conduct the proced ure.
While you search for a qualified surgeon who can perform your vasectomy, keep the following in mind:
If you have insurance coverage, ask your insurer for a list of surgeons who are part of their network. Most companies cover vasectomy and can give you such a list.
Your Family Physician
Primary care or family doctors typically refer patients to specialists and will have no problem suggesting a number of qualified surgeons within your area.
Though you don’t need to have your vasectomy in a hospital, urologists who perform them usually divide their schedules between hospitals and clinics, which means hospital administrators can also give you a list of those they work with.
Your Social Circle
Sometimes, you just have to come up to a male friend or relative who has undergone vasectomy or vasectomy reversal, and you will get a referral. This will even give you the chance to go in-depth with your questions and thus gain a better understanding of the procedure.
After making your list of prospective surgeons, learn more about each of them. Consult medical directories, like the American Board of Medical Specialties, to know if the doctor is board-certified and allowed to practice in your state.
To know more about the level of experience of the doctor you’re eyeing, you can contact state or local societies. These organizations can give you such information as how many years they have practicing as a surgeon, and the number of vasectomies or vasectomy reversals they have performed. And don’t forget to take a look at the surgeon’s hospital appointments. These are normally given to surgeons with excellent qualifications in their field of specialization.
While credentials and experience will always be vital, some practical concerns should also be considered. Is the location of the clinic or the hospital, for example, convenient for you? What about the doctor’s office hours?
Also remember that effective communication is central to optimal healthcare, so make sure you choose a doctor you can easily communicate with.
Finally, the intangibles. What kind of treatment do you get from the doctor or his or her staff on the phone?Is the clinic clean? What is the general vibe that you get when you come for an appointment? While seemingly small, these things are nonetheless important in choosing a urologist.