RECOVERY AFTER A VASECTOMY: WHAT TO EXPECT BEFORE & AFTER A NO-NEEDLE, NO-SCALPEL VASECTOMY
Vasectomy is a simple operation designed to make a man sterile, or unable to father a child. It is used as a means of contraception in many parts of the world. A total of about 50 million men have had a vasectomy– a number that corresponds to roughly 5% of all married couples of reproductive age. In comparison, about 15% of couples rely on female sterilization for birth control.
Consultation with the doctor:
Most men who want a vasectomy have a good understanding of it from reading about it on the Internet. If you have decided you want the procedure, we can schedule to meet with doctor for a consultation just before the vasectomy (please allow at least 3 days before the actual procedure). During this initial consultation the doctor will take a medical history and examine you briefly and then thoroughly explain the procedure and its advantages, risks and anticipated recovery time.
Preparation at home:
Eat normally on the day of the procedure. Shower or bathe thoroughly that morning & shave the area clean if possible. Avoid aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil) naproxen (Aleve) for a week beforehand. Bring a pair of snug underpants or an athletic supporter to the appointment. You may drive yourself, but about half the men come with their significant other.
No-Needle, No-Scalpel Vasectomy Procedure (In-Office)
The nurse will check your pulse and blood pressure and review your allergies with you. We will then have you undress from the waist down and cover you up with a sheet. We will prep the skin with antiseptic and place sterile drapes around the scrotum.
The doctor will then examine you again, locate the vas deferens with their fingers and inject a small amount of local anesthetic. You will feel some tugging but should not feel any type of sharp pain at all.
The procedure takes only about 20 minutes.
After the procedure:
Immediately after your vasectomy, you can usually expect any discomfort to be relatively mild; especially after a no-scalpel vasectomy. Local anesthesia will begin to wear off an hour or so after the procedure. The doctor will advise you of appropriate use of pain relievers and/or antibiotics if necessary.
Before you are discharged, read the doctor’s written instructions and review them with your spouse so you can ask any questions you may have with your doctor. In addition, here are some general guidelines for making your recovery uneventful and as comfortable as possible.
Before going home, we will review your instructions with you. The majority of men take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil), if anything.
Your doctor may advise you not to drive yourself home, so you may need to arrange for transportation in advance. He or she will also determine when you are ready to travel, so don’t try to speed up the process. Go directly home to rest. You can expect to wear a snug scrotal support garment or jockey shorts immediately after the surgery and for about one week thereafter. Wear or bring these with you to your appointment.
Beginning your recovery:
Once you get home after the procedure, lie down and put some ice on your scrotum for 20 minutes. Use ice periodically the rest of the day. Ice does two things; it reduces the swelling, but it also blocks the pain receptors and so it reduces the pain. You can shower or bathe the next day. You do not have to stay home all day, but don’t plan lots of activity. Avoid sports or heavy exercise for a week.
The first few weeks after surgery:
You will have a little swelling and some discomfort. Usually this is gone within a week. If you feel you are having too much pain or swelling, especially if it is getting worse rather than better, please give us a call. We would rather hear from you than have you wondering whether you are okay. If you do need to be seen or want to be seen in the office afterward, there is no charge for that visit.
** You are not sterile right after the vasectomy. The sperm beyond the point where we sever the vas still have to work their way out. Usually the sperm are all gone within 3 months, so we choose that time to recommend that you get a sperm count. You should continue to use some other type of contraception or birth control until you have had 2 consecutive sperm counts of zero. **