Businessmen Rob Ferretti and Jeb Lopez skipped work for a day of booze, steaks and prescription drugs at a hideaway outside 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.
Mr. Ferretti, 36 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.
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 8 minutes. 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.”
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.
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.