Every March, away from the basketball court, a different kind of madness begins. Whether it’s called U Vas Madness or carries a cool ad slogan like “it’s hip to get snipped,” it’s urologists’ one shining moment: vasectomy season.
And you thought only the nets got cut this time of year.
It’s a combination of things, really, that brings this about: For most men, personal timing and the sports calendar happen to coincide perfectly. And then there are the deals. A D.C. area man with four daughters won a free vasectomy in a contest sponsored by 106.7 The Fan’s Junkies. “We had Vasectomy Madness, so to speak,” Dr. Kelly Chiles, an assistant professor of urology at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, told The Post.
“If you’re a guy, no one wants to do it. We’re lazy,” Eric Bickel of the Junkies added. “ … But any excuse to sit around and watch TV works for most guys.”
At Obsidian Men’s Health in McLean, Virginia, you’d be a fool not to schedule a snip-snip the first week of the tournament. A concierge practice, Obsidian offers a spa-like experience, with patients awake and watching the games on big-screen TVs. The recovery room, its website says, is “equipped with comfortable robes and slippers, flat-screen TVs with Netflix, cappuccino and top-shelf liquor. We’ll do everything we can to keep you comfortable after the procedure.”
At the University of Utah, March means all hands on with U Vas Madness running from March 16-31. Patients get a free recovery kit that includes a basketball-shaped ice pack.
At NYU, Dr. Joseph Alukal, the director of male reproductive health and clinical associate professor of urology at NYU’s Langone Medical Center, told The Post that he prefers more of an outpatient surgical experience. “If a patient wants to bring an iPad or a phone to help him relax, that’s fine,” he said, “but I don’t want to have the distraction of having a TV on.”
That would be the absolute worst time for a buzzer beater.
Although the American Urological Association has no official stats on the matter, the Cleveland Clinic says it saw a 10 percent rise in the procedure during March Madness from 2014 through 2016, the Daily Mail reports. Alukal says about 500,000 vasectomies are performed annually in the U.S. and generally he has found that men start thinking about them around the first of each year and decide, conveniently, to get the procedure done just after Selection Sunday.
“Around the holidays, a lot of couples begin to talk about this and, at the first of the year, men are really thinking about it and start scheduling appointments to talk to me,” he said. “In New York, there’s a month-long waiting period, so they have the opportunity to change their minds so they have to start thinking about it just after the first of the year. A few years ago, I wiped my schedule and did 10 one day and 12 the next.” Now, though, he does about four a week, focusing on other procedures.
The actual procedure, Alukal says, takes him about “10 to 15 minutes” to perform. The patient is usually out in 45 minutes and Alukal advises two days of “being smart” with limited activity with an ice pack on the affected area.