Blogging Medicine

Kev does Abel one better: A vasectomy on Twitter

First fellow ScienceBlogger Abel Pharmboy live-blogged (sort of) his vasectomy. That record could not stand, however. You just knew it wouldn’t be long before someone tried to outdo him.

Now Kev is live-Tweeting (live-Twittering?) his own vasectomy. He’s at the surgeon’s office right now, but tells us the surgeon is running a little late! Follow along, if you dare.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

16 replies on “Kev does Abel one better: A vasectomy on Twitter”

I don’t dare, I had a bad experience not getting a vasectomy. I asked the doctor “Is it a painful procedure?” and he replied “Don’t worry, it’s only a little prick.” I have never been so insulted …

Sorta OT, but I had my vasectomy done at the same time as my umbilical hernia surgery. It was great; I got to be under a general for the vasectomy and the hernia post op pain was so bad, I didn’t couldn’t even tell I’d had the vasectomy. The only way to go.

Dear humble pseudonymous surgeon/scientist,

Before I begin my pitch, I have to tell you I loved your “about” section. Hysterical.

I love your blog, too, but that “about” section tops all, and we’ve seen a lot!

So, my name is John Wilpers. I am the Global Blog Coordinator for GlobalPost, a new international news organization set to launch on Jan. 12 (see

My job is to build a list of blogs that will appear on GlobalPost where we will have approximately 65 correspondents in some 46 countries plus high-profile correspondents writing about major themes we’re calling Latitudes (Commerce, Diplomacy, Environment, Health, NGOs, Sports, Technology, Wheels).

We are looking for enlightening, informative posts from bloggers writing (in English) about those themes. And we were very pleased and excited to find your blog about Health. Your variety of subjects (Holocaust, acupuncture, Sarah Palin, PETA, etc.) and your irreverent, conversational style make reading delightful and informative. A real trick.

So, I would like to extend an invitation to you to have the most recent post of “Respectful Insolence” included on the Health page of as part of our “Global Blogs” service. (I also sent you an e-mail to double the chances of reaching you before we launch next week. Please pardon my enthusiasm for getting your posts onto!)

After reviewing thousands of blogs worldwide, we have found “Respectful Insolence” to be one that is thought provoking and gives readers your unique perspective on the issues and events in the world of Health….and beyond!

The way it would work if you accept our invitation is that we would use your RSS feed to place your most recent post on your personal page on We would point back to your actual blog for comments and for archives, hopefully driving lots of traffic to your site. Each time you write a new post, it would replace the older one so only one post would appear on

By appearing on Global Post’s exciting new international news website, your words, viewpoints, and pictures would gain worldwide exposure. Your posts would not only appear instantly on but also possibly on the sites of our partners, including the Huffington Post (7.8 million U.S. and 9.7 million global monthly unique visitors) and other news and information websites.

You don’t need to do anything differently. We do request that you consider pointing back to us from your blog (we will send out logos shortly for your consideration), but that’s not a requirement.

You should know that we have a few guidelines that we observe here at Global Post:

1) We do not publish racist, sexist, or misogynist comments (unless those comments are the subject of the post).
2) We do not publish obscene language or photos. While we recognize that obscenity can be difficult to define, we know it when we see it and we will let you know if we think you have crossed our line.
3) We do not permit plagiarism. Any work taken from another source must be attributed to that source.
4) We do not publish libelous or slanderous language.
5) We do not tolerate repeated errors of fact or misrepresentations of facts or quotes.
6) We do not publish work inciting violence.

Failure to observe these guidelines would result in the removal of your blog from GlobalPost. We would contact you, of course, to discuss the post in question.

Because we have a broad multicultural audience holding every conceivable political and religious viewpoint, we want to respect their views while also possibly challenging them. We will host controversial work. We will encourage robust debate of the hottest topics. We will not stifle discussion, only abuse of people, belief systems, and laws.

We hope these guidelines are acceptable to you.

I look forward getting your permission to put your RSS feed on our site. Please reply to: [email protected]. Thank you!


John Wilpers

PS If you choose to accept our invitation and would like a photo and a short biography to appear on GlobalPost, please send both to me with your confirmation e-mail or at some time shortly thereafter.

Global Blog Coordinator
The Pilot House
Lewis Wharf
Boston, MA 02110
[email protected]

Heh. I desire to see Wilpers versus the SEED Overlords in a cage match to the death for Orac!

Back on subject, My wife and I were just discussing my (soon to be) vasectomy the other night. Gots to be done, as two anklebiters are running us ragged. Sure, we have control over the matter, but it’ll be good to not have to worry about it.

Hehe, how timely – I’ll be having my vasectomy shortly as well. I should hop over there and get the play-by-play.

I have great respect for Kev; thanks for posting this.

Yes, my Treo didn’t render the blogging platform so I had to post in real-time to a discussion forum and then put the entire accumulated account up on the blog. If I had my iPhone, I would have directly live-blogged or Twittered.

The real coup de grace would be to have a physician blogger perform a vasectomy on another science blogger, then have each blog from their perspectives.

“looking like he’s an hour behind;welcome to the nhs” Welcome to the NHS? Ungrateful sod!

Joshua, I think those who are more likely to think critically of the world (ie, sciencebloggers) are more likely to make firmer decisions on wanting to not have children, and are more likely to be less afraid of such a permanent step, and are a lot less likely to think that getting a vasectomy is somehow an end of or an insult to their manhood. Basically they are going to be more educated about it than the every-day Joe.

Also, it seems to me that the more intelligent, critical, and curious someone is about their world, the more likely they will decide NOT to have children.

I remember my vasectomy quite well, and it was not painful at all. The injection was a slight sting, then we were on to the snipping. Not much bleeding, either. Seemed pretty simple to me.

Marilove, I agree with your opinion on why more critically thinking people consider voluntarily sterilization.

I’m reminded of it every time I’m at a school event for my eight-year-old and people ask when I’m going to have another child. The next question is usually whether I’m “letting God plan [my] family”, which I take as a cue to mention that there are a variety of long-term temporary and permanent birth control options that are minimally invasive nowadays. (I personally am a fan of Essure for women; it is much less invasive than a tubal ligation yet just as effective.)

I am reminded of Shakespeare.. “’twas the unkindest cut of all!” But, if it prevents unwanted pregnancies, it’s worth doing.

Although the studies were scientifically designed, experts say it is still too early to establish a cause and effect relationship. The World Health Organization said more studies are needed before any conclusions can be drawn since three others studies found no relationship between vasectomy and prostate cancer.
Men who undergo vasectomy probably expect it to be a foolproof method of birth control. While this is true in most cases, a vasectomy can sometimes fail for a variety of reasons. In one percent of cases, the severed vas deferens (the two tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the penis) rejoins itself.

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