Is it a Laser vasectomy?


No.The vas tubes are most easily and safely divided under direct vision with a fine surgical scissors. But the expression “LASER” has great popular appeal, and use of laser energy in the performance of a simple vasectomy serves no purpose but to play up to this popular appeal. Lasers have proven indispensable for certain types of retinal (eye) and skin procedures, and they offer an alternative, though not necessarily better, means for destroying tissue (prostate and certain tumors) and kidney stones. But a laser (like any other form of light) cannot pass through opaque tissue without burning a hole in it, so a laser cannot be magically directed at internal organs such as the vas tubes without an access opening in the same way that sound waves can be used to destroy kidney stones without an incision. “An Update on Laser Use in Urology” in the October 2003 issue of Contemporary Urology by MJ Manyak and JW Warner from George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, DC did not even mention vasectomy as a potential laser application. The authors maintained that with the CO2 lasers used in office environments, “use is typically limited to surface applications because CO2 laser energy is absorbed by water, resulting in a shallow depth of penetration (<0.1 mm). … Because the CO2 laser produces a plume that has the potential for vaporizing infectious viral particles, an appropriate fine mesh filtration mask must be used by all operating room personnel during all cutaneous procedures. Other drawbacks of the CO2 laser include poor coagulation of vessels with a diameter greater than 1.0 mm and development of oxidized char that impedes vaporization of underlying tissue.” So lasers play no role in a procedure as simple as vasectomy and introduce an unnecessary element of risk. A recent search revealed no articles in the medical press.

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