Dr Nick Demediuk AKA Dr Snip.
Dr Nick Demediuk AKA Dr Snip.

Meet Dr Snip - he's performed 20,000 vasectomies

MEET the man who has seen thousands of women and men at their primordial best and fight-or-flight worst.

Dr Nick Demediuk has gone from delivering babies for 21 years to performing an estimated 20,000 vasectomies.

His medical career is the very essence of the term "full circle".

On both the Sunshine Coast and in Melbourne, he is known as Dr Snip.

It's catchier than his Ukrainian surname, pronounced demi-duke; "as in half-a-Duke", he explains.

He is a proponent of the open-ended vasectomy technique, very different to the traditional method still taught in medical schools where both ends of the tubes that carry sperm out of the body are cut and tied off.

When he started performing the procedure on men back in 1980, he used the old method before making the switch.

Apparently, he explains with a frankness I guess you need when discussing this particular topic, the double tie-off not only requires a general anaesthetic and stitches, it also increases post-operative swelling and pain due to "back pressure on the balls" as sperm gets banked up.

These days, his Dr Snip rooms in the Edge building on Lake Kawana Blvd have a sign out the front boldly declaring "no scalpel vasectomies".

He is always fully booked and often has to work on his day off on the one week per month he operates the Coast practice.

"We warm up the anaesthetic first mixed with extra ingredients to stop it stinging and we use a fine needle that blasts it into the skin," he explains of the procedure.

"We cut a single hole in the middle of the scrotum of between two and four millimetres and manipulate the tube (to cut both sides).

"It heals in two days.

"The open-ended bit means we only tie off the top end of the tube and leave the bottom end open.

"Sperm keep dribbling out into the scrotum and get re-absorbed.

"And the sperm only account for less than 1% of what comes out when people ejaculate anyway, the rest of it comes from higher up the system.

"We are only preventing the sperm from getting out."

Any men still reading?

The 15-minute process costs $745 and you get a $248.95 rebate from Medicare, leaving you $496.05 out of pocket.

Dr Nick concedes it's not 100% guaranteed to work, but is safer than a tubal ligation in women. That has a failure rate of one in 250, whereas this method of vasectomy has a one in at least 1000 chance of failing.

He has seen the gamut of emotions from his patients over the years.

"Most people are concerned," he said with a wry laugh.

"We tell them it's way better than going to the dentist and dentists get very insulted. But afterwards they think 'why was I so worried?'

"The most traumatic thing is having some strange dude playing with your crown jewels. It's a bit out of left field for most guys.

"Some guys are really jumpy... and it's hard to deal with moving targets.

"Some guys faint, they get so stressed out... and it's pretty hard to faint lying down."

Dr Nick said his typical patient was aged between 28 and 38.

"Most of them have had a couple of kids and they want a permanent, safe way of contraception," he said.

"The wife has been on the pill and she's done enough, they've had the babies and it's time for the guy to step up.

"I get a lot of fly-in-fly-out miners and a few guys from Norway.

"The weirdest group are engineers. They are very anally retentive but they all think they are normal. They over-research vasectomies to the nth degree and they want to know everything you are doing.

"The only odd thing is when you have a 20-year-old who has no kids and wants to have one. Sometimes I will make them go and see a psychologist or GP to make sure they are really sure about it.

"Some guys just know they never want kids, some say for environmental reasons... they think the world's overpopulated and they can adopt if they want children in future."

 

GET THE FACTS:

See Dr Nick perform the procedure in a candid video on Youtube (no gory close-ups): bit.ly/1d8xFhw

Listen to Steve Scotland's interview with Dr Nick: bit.ly/14qzKSm

 

WHAT THE PATIENT SAID:

TAKE it from someone who's had it done.  

Sitting in the waiting room is the worst part of having a vasectomy.  

Brightwater dad of three Steve Scotland had one at Dr Snip's rooms at the start of 2010.  

"The procedure was painless," he said.  

"There was a really small needle and Dr Nick said that was the most pain I would feel, and he was right.  

"The worst thing about it is sitting in the waiting room pretending to read a magazine.  

"I was sitting there and the fellow before me came out of the room and said 'you'll be right, the wait is the worst bit'.

"When I came out I was a bit ginger, but I saw three blokes waiting and they were white as ghosts. They didn't want to look me in the eye."  

Mr Scotland, 34, came to the decision quickly.  

"We had our third child in June 2009 and we thought enough's enough," he said.  

"It was time to finalise a few things; we were quite happy with where we were at the time in terms of kids.  

"I Googled and came up with Dr Snip and made an appointment. If I had have over-analysed it, I would never have got it done."  

The 10-minute appointment happened while his wife and kids waited in the car. He watched part of a Simpsons episode on a TV above the bed while it happened.  

"It was the best thing I ever did. No regrets, especially at 3am when the kids are crying and they wake you up.  

"Every now and again when the kids are playing up, I will ring the doctor and get tested again, just to make sure it hasn't grown back."  



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