Vasectomy is male sterilization and is permanent. It is an outpatient office procedure done under local anesthesia in the urologist's office. The vas deferens (transport tube for sperm) is severed. The patient goes home soon after the procedure, ice is applied to the scrotal area and analgesia is given as needed. It is not immediately effective, and multiple ejaculations are required over time to deplete the remaining sperm. A repeat semen analysis is required to confirm that there are no viable sperm, prior to unprotected sex.
Vasectomy is over 99% effective, but even with that said, 3/1000 can get pregnant.
All surgical procedures carry some risk, and vasectomy is no different. Common complications include hematoma (blood collection) in the scrotum, bleeding, infection and sperm granulomas (sperm leaks into the surrounding tissue causing inflammation, pain and swelling).