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    Vas deferens


    Vasectomy specimens from sterilisation surgery may be examined to ensure vas has been disrupted. Specimens should be received in separate pots identified for laterality. Rarely biopsies of lesions such as vasitis nodosum and benign tumours are received.1

    Record the patient identifying information and any clinical information supplied together with the specimen description as designated on the container. See overview page for more detail on identification principles.

    See general information for more detail on specimen handling procedures.

    Inspect the specimen and dictate a macroscopic description.

    External Inspection

    Orientate the specimen and identify lumen if possible.

    Record the following features of the specimen:

    Specimen appearance

    • Number of pieces
    • Specimen dimensions (mm)
      • Length
      • Diameter


    Transversely section specimen perpendicular to the lumen.

    For specimens other than sterilisation, it may be necessary to paint the surgical margins with ink. Submit whole if <5mm in maximum dimension.

    Larger specimens containing tumour or other lesions may be sectioned transversely at 3-4mm intervals.

    Internal Inspection

    Not required.


    Submit two representative sections (one from each vas) directly into cassettes for processing with directions to embed on end to demonstrate the lumen in cross sections.

    A minimum of two sections allows further sections to be processed if there are difficulties with embedding and/or identification of the lumen.

    Submit all tissue for processing:

    • Whole if <5 mm in maximum dimension
    • All sections in sequential order if larger.

    Record details of each cassette.

    An illustrated block key similar to the one below may be useful.

    Block allocation key

    Cassette id
    No. of pieces
    Vas, right
    Vas, left


    1. O’Rourke D, Turner G and Allen D. Tissue Pathways for Urological Pathology, The Royal College of Pathologists, London, 2010.

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      Vas deferens 1

      Vas deferens

      Vas deferens 2

      Vas deferens dissected

      Vas deferens 3

      Vas deferens for processing

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