Infertility| Volume 143, P130-136, September 2020

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



      To describe trends in the characteristics of urologic surgeons performing vasectomy over time.


      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.


      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]).


      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.
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