NHS or Private? : A guide to Vasectomy

You have two options in regard to vasectomy surgery – the NHS or ‘go private’. There are advantages and disadvantages with both.

NHS treatment

If you are not familiar with the NHS then here is a brief overview:

The NHS (National Health Service) is the UK’s state owned healthcare system which is available to anyone, irrespective of their ability to pay. It is paid for by taxation and National Insurance (NI) contributions and free at the point of delivery.

Your age, medical history and circumstances will be used to determine your suitability for a vasectomy.

Unfortunately there is a long wait for surgery although this could be viewed as a good way of deciding if you really want a vasectomy or not.

GP referral

If you decide to have a vasectomy on the NHS then your first step is to see your GP. He or she will discuss the surgery with you and explain what your options are and what would be best for you.

If he or she decides to refer you then you will be put on a waiting list. The duration of this will depend upon where you live and the resources.

The next step is similar to those people who chose private treatment. You will be given an appointment with a surgeon to discuss the procedure as a consultation.

Both NHS and private consultations are discussed in more detail in our vasectomy surgery section.

Private treatment

This can include treatment at a private clinic or hospital or a private wing within an NHS hospital.

If you are paying for private treatment then you will be given a quote. Look carefully at what this quote includes, and more importantly, at what it doesn’t include.

A quote can include the following:

  • Surgeon’s fees
  • Anaesthetist’s fees
  • Consultations
  • Nursing care
  • Medication

Ask them what their policy is as regards a ‘failed’procedure and/or complications. If the original vasectomy fails then you will require a second procedure to correct this failure. Also if complications arise and you need further surgery –do you have to pay for this or is it included in the original quote?

As with any documentation, read the small print carefully and make sure that you know what you are paying for. If a free repeat procedure is included then find out how long after your surgery this remains for free. Is there a time limit, for example 3 months after the original vasectomy?

Find out if you are covered if a serious problem occurs, for example the growth of a lump. This type of complication is rare but if it occurs will it be treated as part of your cover?

If you opt for the NHS then they will cover problems like this.

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