After the Vasectomy Reversal Operation
Patients are advised to stay the night of the operation in hospital as this helps to ensure that they are exposed to minimal exertion and thus helps to prevent undue stress on the joins of the vas. Patients are normally discharged the morning following surgery. However, if you live locally to the hospital then the procedure can be done as a day-case.
General anaesthesia can temporarily affect co-ordination and reasoning skills, so patients should not drive, drink alcohol or operate machinery for 48 hours afterwards.
Patients will have a single wound in the middle part of the scrotum which will be closed with dissolvable sutures. These sutures are likely to disappear within 3 weeks or so. A dissolvable suture is put into the skin at the end of the operation so that it does not need to be removed.
Patients will be given a scrotal support to wear for the first 48-72 hours following the procedure. It is normal to feel a little sore and be swollen following the operation. Bruising may also occur over the scotum and groin area and generally returns to normal within 2 weeks or so.
Resuming normal physical activities
It is strongly advised that patients take it very easy for a few days following discharge and should rest with their feet up. It is inadvisable to do any heavy lifting or vigorous exercise during the first few weeks following the operation as this may put a strain on the healing wound and joins.
It is important to allow time for the joins to heal properly before returning to normal activity. Mr Swinn recommends that patients should have 7-10 days off work following surgery. Some people do go back to work sooner, especially if they have sedentary jobs. However, particularly for those who have physical jobs, more than 10 days may be required.
Strenuous physical activities such as cycling and running can be resumed as tolerated, usually around 3-4 weeks post operation.
Resuming sexual activities
Normal sexual activities can usually be resumed 2-3 weeks post operation.
Complications of surgery
A vasectomy reversal is a generally safe surgical procdure and complications are rare. However, all surgery carries an element of risk. The main complications include:
- Bleeding inside the scrotum which causes swelling and pain. This is called a haematoma. The risk of this happening can be reduced by avoiding strenuous activities and wearing a scrotal support.
- Sometimes fluid can build up around one or both testes. This is called a hydrocele.
- It is possible for sperm to leak out of the cut tubes and collect in the surrounding tissues. If this happens, hard lumps called sperm granulomas can form. These are not harmful and can be treated by anti-inflammatory drugs if required.
- A small proportion of men develop long-term testicular pain.
- Some men may notice that one or both testes are higher than before. This is more likely to occur if a vasoepididymostomy was performed.
You should arrange for your semen to be analysed approximately 3 months after the procedure. On discharge from the ward, patients should be given an instruction sheet for semen analysis. To arrange a semen analysis please call 01293 778906 for an appointment to produce your specimen at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital.
- Do not ejaculate for a minimum of 2 days but not longer than 7 days before producing a semen specimen.
- Do not collect the specimen in a sheath (as some materials of sheaths can destroy sperm).
The results are usually ready after 4-5 days so you should arrange an out-patient appointment with Mr Swinn to discuss the results. However, if it is not practical to come along for a face-to-face consultation them a telephone consultation can be arranged.
If it is not practical for you to produce a semen specimen at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital then you should make an appointment to see your GP who can arrange for you to have the test done locally.