It’s a Vasectomy Party! Snips, Chips and Dips With Your Closest Friends

Pals willing to spend a few thousand dollars are getting together for ‘brosectomies’ at clinics that look more like club lounges; ‘I guess it’s from the alcohol, but we had such a great time’

Friends Rob Ferretti, left, and Jeb Lopez in a recovery room at Obsidian Men’s Health in Tysons Corner, Va., where the two men went together for vasectomies.

Photo: Rob Ferretti

Businessmen Rob Ferretti and Jeb Lopez skipped work for a day of booze, steaks and prescription drugs at a hideaway outside Washington, D.C.

The two pals, married with children, made a convivial—and somewhat vulgar—video as they drank and giggled away the hours before heading home. Neither man could drive afterward, but their wives were remarkably supportive.

Ice bag

Mr. Ferretti, 36 years old, and Mr. Lopez, 44, had enjoyed themselves under the supervision of a doctor for what some are calling a brosectomy—a vasectomy with friends in a cushy setting of couches, snacks, big-screen TV, and in some clinics, top-shelf liquor.

“We thought it was going to be painful,” said Mr. Lopez, who described the procedure as feeling like the sting of a rubber band. “After that, we were just laughing, I guess it’s from the alcohol, but we had such a great time.”

Hundreds of thousands of American men get vasectomies each year, according to the American Urological Association. Typically, the procedures cost about $500. But gregarious types willing to spend a few thousand dollars are getting the procedure done together at clinics that look more like club lounges.

“We felt that if it looks sterile, like a doctor’s office, then guys wouldn’t feel as comfortable,” said Shane Geib, the urologist who snipped Messrs. Ferretti and Lopez. Leather sofas, TVs and wood paneling at Dr. Geib’s Obsidian Men’s Health in Tysons Corner, Va., help put patients at ease, he said.

Urologist Paul Turek, who has clinics in Beverly Hills, Calif., and San Francisco, said group vasectomies are a growing trend. When a group arrives, he closes the office to accommodate the men comfortably.

A limousine recently delivered a group of biotech employees from the same firm, he said. With jazz playing in the background, “I move like the wind,” Dr. Turek said, finishing each man after a song or two, about eight minutes.

A bag of frozen peas distributed to vasectomy patients at clinics in California.

Photo: Dr. Paul Turek/The Turek Clinics

Vasectomies are considered a permanent form of birth control, although they can be reversed. Dr. Turek said his patients include fathers as well as single men who freeze their sperm before their vasectomy to retain “ownership over contraception.”

Having vasectomies together provides comfort in numbers, Dr. Turek said. One group, friends since college, had vasectomies together, and they “took fewer pain pills, felt better faster and returned to work earlier than the average, go-it-alone-out-on-the-plank, tube-tied patient,” he wrote on his blog last year.

Urologist Ernest Sussman, of Las Vegas Vasectomy in Nevada, said pairs of men arrive together for the procedure a few times a year, usually visitors attending business conferences or watching sporting events together.

“It’s almost like a fraternity mentality, where one guy says they may do it,” Dr. Sussman said, piquing the interest of “the other guys who’ve been contemplating it. All of a sudden they have the energy or courage.”

Messrs. Ferretti and Lopez got good and relaxed before their recent procedure, according to their video of the afternoon posted on YouTube.

After the short operation, the two friends retired to the recovery room in bathrobes and slippers, where they ordered a steak dinner and relaxed for a couple of hours watching TV and “laughing it up,” said Mr. Ferretti, who lives in Englewood, N.J.

Rob Ferretti and Jeb Lopez at Mr. Lopez's Alexandria, Va., home after their vasectomies.

Photo: Angela LaRusso-Lopez

Doctors allow patients to go home the same day, although they can’t drive themselves if they have taken strong pain pills or alcohol.

Other clinics advertise on radio and social media that the benefits of vasectomies reach beyond family planning. The pitch: Doctor’s orders are a perfect excuse to watch the NCAA basketball tournament in its entirety.

“Ready for some wife-approved couch time? Have your vasectomy on a Thursday or Friday. Then you can recover over the weekend while watching some great games!” said a Urology of Indiana advertisement ahead of this year’s March Madness.

Ads by the practice, based in Greenwood, Ind., seem to work, said Chief Operations Officer Charles Dotson, who saw a surge in March business.

“This a procedure that’s going to require them to be down for a couple of days, limited mobility, they’re going to probably be doing that anyway if they’re watching basketball all weekend, it just becomes an easy conversation to have with the other half,” Mr. Dotson said.

The University of Utah Health in Salt Lake City has run March Madness promotions for the past three years. It offers a vasectomy package that includes a Utah Jazz basketball ticket giveaway, goody bags and basketball-shaped ice packs. This year, its surgeons performed more than three times as many vasectomies in March compared with the average number done in the other months through May, according to the health center’s internal marketing data.

A U.S. survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found most women who rely on vasectomies for birth control have as many children as they or their partner want. A vasectomy is faster, safer and less expensive than a common sterilization procedure for women called tubal ligation, according to the American Urological Association.

Megan Gerald saw the fancy setup at Obsidian Men’s Health when she joined her 38-year-old fiancé, lawyer David Dischley, for his appointment.

“I gave birth to two children, and this is so easy,” said Ms. Gerald, 32, a wedding photographer from Centreville, Va. “It’s not fair!”

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Appeared in the July 24, 2017, print edition as 'A Vasectomy Doesn’t Have to Be a Sterile Affair.'