Papers And Originals

Consultant Surgeons and Vasectomy

Br Med J 1973; 2 doi: (Published 16 June 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;2:629

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  1. Marjorie Waite


    In late 1971 410 consultant general surgeons and urologists—74% of a national random sample—responded to a postal survey about vasectomy. Probably about 50,000 vasectomies were performed by surgeons in England and Wales in 1970. The service was largely a private one: 60% of consultants' hospital vasectomies were not done under the National Health Service, and, in addition, 26% of the consultants who worked in relevant specialties performed vasectomies elsewhere than in hospital (usually in private nursing homes). Based again on consultants' estimates, probably 6,000 men in 1970 had their requests for vasectomy turned down by surgeons, or more than one turned down for every 10 done. The most common reason was that patients were “too young.”

    About 90% of the consultants thought vasectomy could normally be performed safely and adequately as an outpatient procedure, yet only 64% said that 90% or more of their hospital vasectomies were done on this basis. While 69% regarded services in their areas as adequate, most were in favour of more special vasectomy clinics.