Just because something can be done doesn’t mean that it is the way you’d want it done.
Yes. The scrotal skin and the nerves that innervate the testicles and vas deferens can be infiltrated with short and long acting anesthetics for very good control of pain. Oral medicines similar to what is used in “sedation dentistry” can be used as a sedative to further make non general anesthesia possible for a vasectomy reversal.
Why doesn’t everyone do it this way? Because the procedure usually lasts 2-3 hours some patients might not be comfortable lying still for that long. As well, because the operative microscope magnifies the operative field so much, small movements dramatically change the area seen and the focus settings. This in turn results in the surgeon having to readjust the microscope and in turn make procedure last longer. One might add that the occasional adjustments hamper the surgeon’s ability to do a quality repair of the vasectomy.
Another reason that a patient and the doctor might prefer local anesthesia with oral sedation is cost. Having general anesthesia must be done in a facility and that in it self adds an expense and then there is the anesthesiologist and the supplies necessary for general anesthesia.
The advantage to the patient with general anesthesia is that he is put to sleep and then wakes up and the procedure is done. For the surgeon he has had the advantage of not being concerned or dealing with a patient moving and having to readjust the microscope.
So in the end it becomes about patient and surgeon preference, and cost. At Northeast Georgia Urological Associates we believe we have the best of both worlds.
Because we own our center the added costs for a facility and anesthesia is minimized resulting in a very cost effective reversal without compromising safety and comfort by utilizing a board certified anesthesiologist in an accredited surgery center.