A hernia operation, a little boy undergoes a vasectomy

THE ESSENTIAL

  • The vasovasostomy is the opposite operation to the vasectomy: it consists of connecting to new vas deferens.
  • In 2018, 9,240 men had vasectomy in France.

It is a medical error with dramatic consequences. In the United States, a four-year-old boy underwent a vasectomy instead of an operation for an inguinal hernia located in the groin, the area between the abdomen and the thigh, according to the news site Fox News 4.

“This doctor simply cut out the wrong piece of anatomy, Explain Randy Sorrels, the family attorney, to the media. We think he accidentally cut the vas deferens, one of the tubes that carries reproductive sperm. It could affect this young man for the rest of his life.”

Vasectomy enables male sterilization

Vasectomy is a method of male sterilization which consists of an operation to cut the vas deferens which allow the passage of sperm from the testicles. When the surgery is completed, the patient is sterile and therefore can no longer have children naturally.

Yet, the medical problem did not suffer that the young boy was quite different. It was an inguinal hernia, that is to say a growth under the skin, at the level of the groin. “This is not a common mistake at all, to chase Randy Sorrels. Before a doctor sections or cuts out any part of the anatomy, they are supposed to positively identify what that anatomy is and then cut. Here, the doctor failed to correctly identify the anatomy that needed to be cut. Unfortunately, he cut his vas deferens. This was only discovered after doing analyses”.

A serious error that the Texas Children’s Hospital must now manage because the family of the little boy has decided to sue the health establishment. For now, the hospital where the surgeon practices has simply been published a communicated indicating: Our priority is the health and well-being of our patients. Due to patient confidentiality requirements, we are unable to comment.” “The family’s biggest concern is how this might affect their child physically, on their ability to have children in the future, and emotionally, says Randy Sorrels. But also the fact of having to explain this to a potential partner with whom you want to have children”.

A practice very indicated in France

In France, the practice of vasectomy is governed by the Law No. 2001-588 of July 4, 2001. And the protocol is strict: an initial consultation during which the practitioner informs the patient of the medical risks and the consequences of the operation. Then, a cooling-off period of four months is mandatory for the person to reflect on their decision. Finally, a second consultation confirms in writing the desire to undergo this intervention.

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