Men who no longer wish to have a child may resort to vasectomy, a surgical procedure that would prevent them from impregnating women as sperm will no longer be released during ejaculation. A man from Liverpool, England, who may not even have the opportunity to have a child though, accidentally underwent the procedure.
The patient, whose name was not revealed, was supposed to have a minor urological procedure at the National Health Service (NHS) affiliated Royal Liverpool University Hospital but doctors who performed the surgery operated on the "wrong site" leading them to give the man an accidental vasectomy instead. Doctors tried to reverse the mistake but it isn't clear if the man will still be able to father a child. Vasectomy is performed as a permanent form of birth control.
Men who plan to undergo vasectomy are advised to be 100 percent certain that they do not want to have children in the future because otherwise, they may have to resort to other methods of contraception. Although the vas deferens, which was cut during vasectomy, could be surgically reconnected, the vasectomy reversal is difficult and may not even work.
The Houston Fertility Institute says that the success rate of vasectomy reversals is just between 40 to 50 percent. Men who had vasectomy may opt to biologically father a child through the removal of sperm from their testicles which will be used in in-vitro fertilization.
Investigations are currently ongoing to know exactly how the patient ended up with the wrong procedure. Hospital officials, however, said that the surgeon who conducted the procedure did not apparently follow the World Health Organization's surgical safety checklist, which could have prevented the medical blunder. The surgeon in question is suspended pending the results of the hospital's investigation.
"This is a serious incident and we are investigating this fully to understand why it occurred and how we can ensure it does not happen again," Royal Liverpool University Hospital medical director Peter Williams said.
This isn't the first time that the Royal Liverpool University Hospital had such medical mistake. In 2011, the hospital had another incident of a dentist removing the wrong teeth of a patient.