ContraceptionMon Nov 19, 2012 - 6:10 pm EST
Texan surgeon gives hope to sterilized men seeking wholeness
NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas, November 19, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Dr. Mark Hickman would try to talk any man out of having a vasectomy any day.
He would begin by telling them all the horror stories that he has heard from the many men who have undergone the invasive procedure that unnaturally blocks tubes that are designed to carry sperm out of a man’s body.
Dr. Hickman would mention that many men become distraught after finding their sexual drive dwindle as a result of the procedure. He would highlight the men who say that their sense of wholeness and sense of well-being diminished soon after the procedure. And he would warn that many men relate symptoms of increased sensitivity and even chronic pain in their testicles after the procedure.
He would also speak about the married men who told him that eliminating the “risk” of impregnating their spouse through what they thought was consequence-free sex led them down the “slippery slope” to sexual relationships with other women.
If Dr. Hickman were speaking to a vasectomy seeker with a religious bent, he would state that “vasectomy circumvents God’s design for human sexuality and fertility”. He would mention the numerous men who related to him that immediately after their vasectomies, they left the doctor’s office and cried as they “knew in their hearts they had sinned.”
It is to be expected that men find themselves opening their hearts to Dr. Hickman with their stories of sorrow and woe. These men confide in him because of their hope that the good doctor will be the one to free them from anguish.
Dr. Hickman is a vasectomy reversal surgeon who has made it his life’s mission to restore infertile broken men to fertility and wholeness.
Dr. Hickman has become nationally and internationally recognized in helping men through vasectomy reversals. As a Catholic who reveres the teaching of Humanae Vitae, the landmark 1969 papal encyclical on sexuality that most famously reiterated the Church’s teaching against artificial contraception, Dr. Hickman has performed close to a thousand reversals in four years in his clinic in New Braunfels, Texas. Along with his clinical team, he performs six to eight procedures per week.
Statistics indicate that five to seven hundred thousand men undergo elective sterilization by vasectomy each year in the United States. But each year, about five percent of these men regret their decision and seek vasectomy reversal surgery.
In a field where physicians charge anywhere from nine to twenty-two thousand dollars for a reversal, Dr. Hickman strives to “bring affordable, superior care to those seeking an addition to their family”. For an all-inclusive fee of three thousand dollars, Dr. Hickman offers a “pain-free surgical procedure with a short recovery time and proven results”.
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Dr. Hickman explained to LifeSiteNews in a recent interview that while men have vasectomies for many reasons, there is always one underlining reason: they don’t want another child.
Some don’t want children for financial reasons, some because they are worried about how a pregnancy might negatively affect the health of their spouse, and some because they think they have reached the right family size.
No matter what the reason, Dr Hickman says, when a man takes the step of vasectomy, he is “basically putting himself ahead of God’s will by saying: ‘Well, I think I know a little more about what to do for my sexuality than God does.’”
Dr. Hickman called vasectomy a “disobedience to God’s plan” for men and women who were originally commanded by God when he created them to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28).
“They want to be in control of their lives instead of putting the Lord in the rightful command position,” he said. “Hence the Catholic Church’s admonishment against it and her insistence that if one can afford it, they have it reversed.”
Dr. Hickman knows that married couples often have legitimate reasons to postpone having children, but he will tell them that getting a vasectomy is not the way to go. He recommends Natural Family Planning (NFP), a method that acknowledges God’s plan for fertility by respecting the bodies of both the man and the women. NFP, using no chemicals or artificial hormones, is based on self-observation and the use of the infertile periods.
“Natural Family Planning techniques approved by the Church allow for the responsible, meaningful and thoughtful expression of love within a marriage. Vasectomy, on the other hand, often times has more selfish motivations behind the decision to have it performed. It is an affront to God’s dominion over our lives,” he said.
Dr. Hickman pointed out that a moral regulation of fertility is not simply a Catholic issue. He related one story of an Orthodox Jew who came to his clinic for a reversal. A Rabbi had told the man that “being sterilized is being disobedient to God” and that even though the man already had four children, he could be “blessed more.”
The work of vasectomy reversal is not merely a business for the doctor; he views it as more of an “apostolate”. It is a “ministry for spreading God’s Word,” he says. He and his co-workers firmly believe in “God’s healing power” and do not shy away from sharing their convictions with their patients.
Before each reversal procedure, Dr. Hickman prays with the man lying on the operating table. The man’s wife is asked to be present during the procedure.
“Heavenly Father,” he prays, “we humbly come before you today to praise you and to pour out our thanksgiving. We are so grateful that you deal with us in your love and in your mercy. Today this man and this woman come before you to return fertility to your control.”
“I ask that you send your Holy Spirit upon this man to minimize his discomfort and to relieve his anxiety. Be with this woman as she ministers to her man. Be with my scrub-tech and myself as we operate. Guide our hands.”
“And Abba, Father, we are thanking you for the blessing that you are going to pour out on the obedience of this family. I ask that you give them the desire of their hearts. We love you Lord Jesus. Come quickly. In your mighty name I pray. Amen.”
As a man of faith, Dr. Hickman said that he and his staff are “proud of that witness, we’re not ashamed of it, we want to promulgate it and put it on display.”
Maurice Prater, director of the Missionaries of the Holy Family where Hickman serves as a member of the Apostolate Board, called Hickman’s work a “unique ministry”.
“He is performing very affordable vasectomy reversals so husbands can become fathers, either again or for the very first time,” he said to LifeSiteNews.
Prater called Hickman an example of a “faithful Catholic doctor in the midst of Obamacare’s promotion of an insidious Culture of Death.”
Hickman and his team have been performing successful reversals for long enough to receive notifications of pregnancies and births on a regular basis.
“Each time I hear of such blessings it reminds me of how, in our small way, our team is lashing back against the current culture of death that trivializes the sanctity of human life,” he said.
Visit Dr. Hickman’s website for further information about the vasectomy reversal process.