Need an excuse to stay home for a few days this month and watch March Madness basketball?
Just schedule a vasectomy.
We’re just being snippy, of course. But apparently some men do it.
The existence of the “March Madness vasectomy” is based on anecdotal stories from clinics and doctors who say they perform more procedures at tournament time — some as much as 50 percent more.
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The American Urological Association has neither confirmed nor denied the existence of said national trend with any data of its own.
“Each spring there are stories about men who time their vasectomies around the college basketball tournament,” urologist Jesse Mills, director of the men’s clinic at UCLA, told the Mail.
“The idea is to get the procedure done now so you can spend a few days on the couch recuperating while watching basketball games.”
This year, sports radio station 106.7 The Fan in Manassas, Va., gave away a free March Madness procedure. The contest even had a logo: Vasectomy Madness.
The station asked listeners to explain why they deserved a vasectomy. Out of three brave souls who made the final cut, the winner announced Tuesday was a 38-year-old guy named Abe who has given up on ever having a son after having three girls — with another daughter on the way.
Vasectomies are minimally invasive and largely low-risk procedures. They typically take about 15 minutes to perform in a doctor’s office under a local anesthetic and require only a few days of down time and immobility to recover.
A few days of immobility, on the couch, watching college basketball? Doctor’s orders.
“We ask the patients to take it easy, sit on the couch — i.e., watch March Madness. Take it easy for two days over the weekend, and they'll be fine to work on Monday,” urologist Ryan Berglund at Cleveland Clinic told the Mail.
“Get a couple of bags of frozen food — peas or something — and keep your scrotum iced over that weekend.”
In Watertown, Wis., a slow month for urologist Ronald Sokovich is two or three vasectomies in June or July. In March and December — apparently Christmas is another popular time for the procedure — he might do 15, he told the Watertown Daily Times.
“Men will schedule it around the first two weekends of the tournament,” Sokovich said.
Some people trace the seeds of the March Madness vasectomy to the Oregon Urology Institute, which ran a radio ad in 2008 encouraging men to get the procedure during the tournament. The promotion was a marketing ploy for two urology groups that had just merged.
Five years ago the Urology Associates of Cape Cod gave away free pizza with procedures performed in March, its busiest month.
“This gives them an excuse to sit down, watch the game, eat some pizza,” one of the urologists told ABC News. “If they relax, they’ll be better off and have a smaller risk of complications.”
In Austin, Texas, urologist Richard Chopp — his real name — and his Urology Team partners hatched a March Madness promotion a decade ago.
And that’s how “Vas Madness” was born.
“We’re just sitting around one night talking about the practice and we thought why don’t we have some type of a deal during the NCAA Tournament,” Chopp told Time last year.
“So we put together a deal: Three or four of us will do vasectomies at a cut rate price a couple times a month during those periods. We just make it a fun deal.”
Now the partners perform about 70 vasectomies during the tournament each year.
“It’s not uncommon that two or three guys who are all buddies to have vasectomies together,” Chopp told Time.
Patients go home with swag bags. The goodies include a copy of the latest Sports Illustrated, a T-shirt that reads “I’ve been ‘Chopped’ at Urology Team” — and bags of frozen peas.