A vasectomy is a simple medical procedure that can take as short as 15-30 minutes in a doctor’s clinic. It only calls for local anesthesia and almost never leads to complications. However, when scrotal examination is hard to perform, or if the patient is dealing with anxiety, the doctor may decide to use sedation. The procedure should only be conducted by a board-certified urologist, who is also known as a urologic surgeon.
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 refer patients to specialists from time to time and can easily give you names and contact information of qualified local surgeons.
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.
Relatives and Friends
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 route will even let you ask deeper questions so you can get a closer look at the procedure and what you should expect.
Once you have a list of prospective doctors who can perform your vasectomy, know more about 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? How about the office hours of the doctor?
Also remember that effective communication is central to optimal healthcare, so make sure you choose a doctor you can easily communicate with.
Finally, the intangible matters. How does the physician or his or her staff treat you over the phone?Is the clinic clean? What is the general attitude of everyone in it? While seemingly small, these things are nonetheless important in choosing a urologist.