ARTICLE

NCAA Tourney: Brackets, upsets, vasectomies?

Some Iowa men schedule vasectomies to coincide with NCAA tournament

Wouldn't it be great to get a doctor's note to stay home this week and watch the NCAA men's basketball tournament?

Some Iowa men will be kicking back with the remote control and a bag of frozen peas after scheduling vasectomies to coincide with March Madness.

“It seemed like a great combination because you're supposed to be on the couch for a few days,” said Tony Brokens, 33, of Ankeny.

The Monticello native and U.S. Postal Service operations specialist scheduled a vasectomy for Wednesday in Des Moines so he can recuperate while watching the Iowa State Cyclones play Thursday in the NCAA tournament.

Brokens and his wife, Christy, decided earlier this year that four kids were enough. The Final Four, you might say.

Brokens saw an advertisement for the Iowa Clinic in West Des Moines, which promotes vasectomies to coincide with the basketball tournament.

The clinic started the ads about five years ago after seeing similar campaigns in other states, marketing manager Jessica Grant said.

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics doesn't promote vasectomies and basketball, but one doctor thinks they go together like fouls and free throws.

“The first round of the NCAA tournament represents that perfect three or four days that you need for recovery after a vasectomy,” said Dr. Brad Erickson, a UIHC urologist. “We don't want them to be doing too much physical activity after surgery.”

Vasectomies are a permanent means of birth control. Each year, between 300,000 and 500,000 American men get the procedure, which takes less than 30 minutes, Erickson said.

“It was the most overblown medical procedure,” said Andy Fales, a Des Moines TV and radio personality who got a vasectomy live on KXNO's Murph & Andy sports radio show last March.

The Iowa Clinic sponsors the show.

Fales, a father of two, said the procedure was quick, virtually painless and didn't keep him on the couch for nearly long enough.

“I wore tighty-whiteys for a couple of days, but I didn't need anything stronger than Advil,” he said. “I was a little disappointed because I had hoped to play the sympathy card for several days.”

Talk about a bracket buster.

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