Whāngārei urologist Tom Nixon, pictured in 2005, plays on the common male perception of a vasectomy, also known as 'the snip' or the 'unkindest cut'. The 20-minute procedure is actually very simple and painless, using a local anaesthetic. Afterwards there is some discomfort, swelling and bruising for a few days. New Zealand has very high vasectomy rates – in 2007, 18% of all men had had the procedure, including 25% of married men and 55% of 40–49-year-olds.
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