Tubal ligation is an abdominal surgery that requires an incision and anesthesia and is performed in a same-day surgery center. Prescription medication may be needed after surgery. Fatalities associated with this surgery is 3.51 for every 100,000 procedures.
With a vasectomy, there’s no scalpel involved, no stitches, no anesthesia and no need for a prescription pain medication. It’s an office procedure done by a family medicine physician, surgeon or urologist and takes less than 30 minutes. There are no fatalities per 100,000 vasectomies.
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As tubal ligation is a same-day surgery procedure, women may have lifting restrictions imposed and be off work and home responsibilities for one to two weeks. A common question is “Who will take care of the kids and the house while I recover?” On the other hand, the vasectomy can be done on Friday and men are off their feet for the weekend and back to work on Monday. It’s not uncommon to hear, “It’s over already?”
A tubal ligation costs about three times more than a vasectomy at approximately $4,000 compared to $1,000.
Each year, approximately 500,000 men in the U.S. choose to have a vasectomy. “The benefits of the no-scalpel vasectomy include a fast procedure, easy recovery, and a smaller incision,” said Dr. Robert Patterson, a general surgeon at Intermountain Healthcare’s American Fork Hospital.
It’s important to understand both procedures when considering permanent birth control. Be informed and take initiative to talk with your partner and your doctor. It’s important to be completely sure you do not want to have more children before getting a vasectomy. “All vasectomies should be considered permanent,” Dr. Patterson said. “While it’s possible to reverse or undo a vasectomy, it’s expensive and not always successful.”