No-Scalpel Vasectomy

NHS Services
Make an enquiry   or call us on: 01206 987525

Procedure Waiting Times


Central Surgery, Sawbridgeworth

Waiting Times (October 2022)


Milton Keynes Village Practice

Waiting Times (October 2022)


Davenport House Surgery, Harpenden

Waiting Times (October 2022)


Sheepcot Medical Centre, Watford

Waiting Times (October 2022)


If you are absolutely sure you don’t want to father a child in future, no-scalpel vasectomy is a reliable and easy method of permanent contraception. It is also much less scary than it sounds! We use the no-scalpel method which involves less discomfortno stitches and faster recovery than the traditional method.

Referral Method

East and North Hertfordshire – Our No-Scalpel Vasectomy Service is only available on the NHS for patients registered with a GP in East and North Hertfordshire CCG.    If you live in East and North Hertfordshire, please make an appointment with your GP and they will refer you to our service.

North East Essex – Vasectomies have been decommissioned as an NHS service in the whole of North East Essex. You will need to pay privately for the procedure. We accept referrals from inside and outside the North East Essex area. You do not need a referral from your GP in order to arrange an appointment for a vasectomy with us.  Please see our Self-Pay Vasectomy Services Page for details.

Your Appointments

East and North Herts Service

Your first appointment will be a short consultation with our Clinician to talk you through your decision to have a vasectomy .  Following the short consultation, if you are happy to proceed, we will book you for your procedure.

A 10 day ‘cooling off period’ is required between your pre-consultation and your procedure.

Your appointment for surgery will last approximately 30 to 45 minutes and you may then return home.
Patient Opinion

We collected feedback from 94 men who had a vasectomy at Tollgate Clinic from September to November 2012 with the following results:

  • 63% said they felt no pain during the operation and the remaining said that they rated the pain as either 1 or 2 on a scale of 0 to 5.
  • 75% said they thought the operation was better or much better than they expected.
  • 98.9% of patients rated our services as Fairly or Extremely Good.

Procedure Features

  • All our procedures at Tollgate Clinic are performed under local anaesthetic
  • 2 Appointments including a Pre-Consultation Appointment with a Clinician and a Separate Appointment for Surgery
  • Usual recovery time and return to work within 48 hours.
  • No follow-up appointment required.



Central Surgery, Sawbridgeworth


Q: How Can I Be Sure I Want a Vasectomy?
Be absolutely sure you don’t want to father a child under any circumstances. Talk to your partner; it’s essential to make the decision together. Consider other kinds of birth control as well. A vasectomy might not be right for you if you are very young, your current relationship is not stable, you are having the vasectomy just to please your partner, or if you are under a lot of stress.

Q: What is Different about a No-Scalpel Vasectomy?
No-scalpel vasectomy is different from a conventional vasectomy in the way the doctor gets to the tubes. This makes the procedure much less painful.

In a conventional vasectomy (not performed at Tollgate Clinic), after the scrotum has been numbed with a local anaesthetic the doctor makes one or two small cuts in the skin with a scalpel and lifts out each tube in turn, cutting and blocking it so the sperm cannot reach the semen. Then the doctor stitches the cuts closed.

In a no-scalpel vasectomy, the doctor feels for the tubes under the skin and holds them in place with a small clamp. Instead of making two incisions, the doctor makes one tiny opening with a special instrument so the tubes can be reached. The tubes are then blocked using a cautery method. There is very little bleeding with the no-scalpel technique. No stitches are needed to close the tiny opening, which heals quickly.

The no-scalpel vasectomy was invented by a Chinese surgeon, and is used throughout China. It was introduced in the United States in 1988, and Dr Spooner converted to this method after receiving training from US doctors in 1995. Dr Spooner has performed over 10,000 vasectomies.

Q: Does No-Scalpel Vasectomy Work?
Yes. It is estimated that after being confirmed sterile at 16 weeks post proecure, there is less than a 1 in 2,000 chance that a man’s partner will become pregnant.

Q: How Long Will the No-Scalpel Vasectomy Procedure Take?
Your Pre-Consultation Appointment, at which we explain the procedure and answer your question, may take approximately 15 minutess. Your partner does not have to attend with you but it may be helpful if she does.

Your appointment for surgery may take between 30 and 45 mintues.  . You should bring someone with you to drive you home afterwards.

Q: Will It Hurt?
When the local anesthetic is injected into the skin of the scrotum, you will feel some discomfort, but as soon as it takes effect, you should feel no pain. Afterwards you may be sore for a couple of days, and you might want to take a mild painkiller. But the discomfort is usually much less with no-scalpel technique, as there is less injury to the tissues. There are no stitches. You will be provided with complete instructions about what to do after surgery.

Q: How Soon Can I Go Back to Work?
You should take it easy for at least 48 hours after your vasectomy. If your job doesn’t involve heavy work, you can then go back. If it does you should take a full week off.

Q: Will I Be Sterile Right Away?
No. After a vasectomy, there are always some active sperm remaining. It takes about 20 ejaculations to clear them. You and your partner should use another form of birth control until a sample of your semen has been tested 16 weeks after your operation and confirmed free of sperm. At the time of your appointment we will provide you with a sample pot and information regarding obtaining a Post Vasectomy Semen Test.   It is very important that you take this test and that you wait for the results before stopping using the other method of birth control.

Q:When Can I Start Having Sex Again?
After one week, but remember to use some other kind of birth control until you have received the letter to say that you are sterile.


Make an enquiry   or call us on: 01206 987525
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