National Characteristics of Surgeons Performing Vasectomy: Increasing Specialization and a Persistent Gender Gap

Joshua A. Halpern, Katelyn B. Zumpf, Mary Kate Keeter, Alexander J. Tatem, Barbara E. Kahn, Nelson E. Bennett, Leah J. Welty, Robert E. Brannigan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe trends in the characteristics of urologic surgeons performing vasectomy over time. Methods: We performed a retrospective, cross-sectional study examining surgeon characteristics for case logs from the American Board of Urology between 2004 and 2013. We used generalized estimating equations with a log link and negative binomial distribution to examine demographic differences (gender, rural location, and surgeon volume) in the number of vasectomies surgeons performed over time. Results: Between 2004 and 2013, 5316 urologists had case logs collected within the 7-month certification window. The majority of these surgeons self-identified as general urologists (82.8%), and a small proportion identified as andrology and infertility specialists (1.7%). Across all years, the median number of vasectomies performed per certifying surgeon during the study period was 14 (interquartile range 6-26). The majority of vasectomies were performed by high-volume surgeons (≥ 26 vasectomies) ranging from 49.2% to 66.9% annually, whereas the proportion performed by low-volume (≤ 5 vasectomies) surgeons ranged from 3.3% to 6.6% annually. Male surgeons performed vasectomies 2.20 times more frequently than female surgeons (95% confidence interval 1.93-2.49; P <.0001) across the study period with no evidence to suggest this gap changed over time (gender-year interaction 1.01 [95% confidence interval: 0.97-1.06; p =.576]). Conclusion: While the majority of urologists performing vasectomy identify as general urologists, there appears to be a focus on vasectomy practice among a small number of high-volume surgeons. Furthermore, while the number of female surgeons performing vasectomies increased, a gender gap persists in the proportion of vasectomies performed by females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-136
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Sep 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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