What Complications Can Occur?

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Complications of vasectomy are few and when they occur are usually mild. Most, if not all, complications relate to bleeding so it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions in order to minimize bleeding. A small amount of oozing from the operative site is quite common. This can be stopped with direct pressure by pinching the skin edges together for 3 minutes.

Bleeding into the scrotum may result in a hematoma, or collection of blood inside the scrotum. This may lead to increased pain after the procedure, an increased risk of infection, and a prolonged recovery time. If you suspect this is happening, or if your scrotum enlarges in the first few hours after your procedure, you should go to the emergency room at the hospital to have this checked.

Infection may also occur, often related to internal bleeding, and may occur seven to ten days after the procedure. If you notice an increase in pain, together with a red, hot, or very tender scrotum, with or without discharge from the puncture site, you should contact your doctor as antibiotics may be necessary.

Epididymitis is an inflammatory response in which the tissue around the testicle(s) may become inflamed, making one or both testicles extra sensitive to pressure and quite tender. Treatment with regular doses of anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen, for a few days will usually resolve this problem. Occasionally, a short course of antibiotics is required as well.

Sperm granuloma formation can also occur. This is a tender nodule in the scrotum at the site where the vas has been interrupted and where the body is working to reabsorb the sperm that are trapped at that point. Usually no treatment is required and this nodule shrinks and disappears with time. Very rarely, surgery may be necessary to remove this area.

Rarely, some men will experience discomfort long after the procedure, relating to irritation of a nerve running along the vas deferens. This, too, is usually self-limited and diminishes with time. For extremely bothersome cases, referral to a urologist for surgical removal of this neuroma is required.

Allergic reactions to the prep solutions or medications are unusual and are rarely life-threatening. If treatment is necessary, your doctor will recommend or administer the appropriate medication.

Please don't hesitate to call the office if you have any questions or concerns.