Monthly Archives: July 2018

Recovering After Your Vasectomy Reversal | Minneapolis & St. Paul

After undergoing a vasectomy reversal, patients can expect a recovery process similar to that of their original vasectomy. Pain and swelling in the groin is to be expected for about 1-3 weeks, but most patients are able to return to work and daily activities within one week. Below is a breakdown of what to expect for post-surgery care and recovery:
 

Incision Care After Surgery

  • Thin, clear, pink-colored fluid may drain from the incision site for about 12-24 hours following surgery.
  • Your doctor may ask you to wear an athletic supporter (jockstrap) or supportive underwear for three weeks after the procedure.
  • After surgery, you may take a quick shower in 2 days. Make sure to pat the incision dry. Do NOT take a bath for about 7 days.
  • If a drain is placed in the mid of scrotum, it is expect to have it removed in 24 hours, unless your doctor instructs you not to. Any stitches should dissolve in 7-10 days.
  • An ice pack can help ease discomfort following surgery, but your scrotum is packed with thick dressing after procedure, therefore, it is not convenient to apply ice pack. If you do, place it against your scrotum (ideally wrapped in a thin cloth) for 10-20 minutes at a time, every 4 hours.
  •  

    Pain Medications

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol or ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) should suffice in helping control any discomfort in the first few days. Try not to take Ibuprofen in the first 2 days to reduce the chance of bleeding
  • Take all pain medicines exactly as directed by your doctor.
  • If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Continue taking them even if you start feeling better.
  • If you take blood thinners, such as warfarin, clopidogrel, or aspirin, your doctor will let you know when it’s appropriate to restart those medications again.
  • If your pain medicine is making you feel sick and unable to stomach food, take your medicine after meals (unless instructed not to), Or switch to over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol OR ask your doctor for a different pain medicine.
  •  

    Returning to Regular Activities

  • Lie down and stay off your feet as much as possible in the first four days. Make sure to rest whenever you feel tired. Do not overexert yourself!
  • After four days, you can start easing back into walking everyday. Increase your walking distance bit by bit each day to regain circulation in your body. Again, rest immediately if you feel tired.

  • Most patients are able to drive and return to work in a week after surgery. However, if your work requires more physical strain on your body, it may take at least two to three weeks before you return.
  • For approximately 3-4 weeks after surgery, avoid strenuous activities like biking, jogging, weight training and high-impact exercises.
  • In the first two weeks, avoid lifting anything heavy that may strain your body. This includes heavy groceries, children, boxes and heavier household items.
  • Ask your doctor when it is appropriate for you to have sex again. Patients are typically advised to refrain from sex for about 3 weeks after surgery.
  •  

    Food/Diet

  • You’re free to return to your normal diet after surgery.
  • If your stomach bothers you for any reason, try eating plain, low-fat foods like rice, broiled chicken, toast and yogurt.
  • Unless otherwise directed, drink plenty of fluids!
  •  

    Follow-Up Appointments

    You are not required to have an office visit for follow up less you develop complications. Our staff will call you next day to check how you are doing. About 6 weeks after surgery, you should go to a local lab for semen analysis to see if the operation was successful.

     

    The Dos and Don’ts of Preparing for a Vasectomy | Minneapolis & St. Paul

    So you’ve finally made the decision to go for that vasectomy procedure—congrats! Knowing what’s best for your body and future is the first step, and now it’s time to make sure you’re well-versed in preparing for the surgery. The outcome and success of your vasectomy can depend on how well you prepare yourself pre-surgery, so we’ve compiled a list of essential pre-operation dos and don’ts.
     

    DO

    Do let your doctor know if you’ve undergone previous scrotal surgery.

    Do inform your doctor about any other medications you may be taking.

    Do follow a diet that’s high in antioxidants (fruits and vegetables, whole grains, green tea).

    Do eat a normal breakfast/lunch on the day of your procedure to avoid becoming lightheaded later on.

    Do fully shower and clean the area around the scrotum on the day of your procedure.

    Do shave your genital area if your doctor instructs you to.

    Do arrange for a friend or family member to help drive you home after the surgery. Driving yourself may put pressure on the surgical area.
     

    DON’T

    Don’t take any aspirin, anticoagulants, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen, Motrin, Aleve or Advil starting two weeks before your procedure. These medications can thin your blood and cause bleeding afterward.

    Don’t drink alcohol starting 2-3 days before your surgery.

    Don’t shave the scrotum the day before your surgery, as any nicks and cuts will not be fully healed by the next day.

    Don’t apply any lotions, colognes or deodorants prior to surgery.

    Don’t wear any jewelry or piercings to the surgery.

    Don’t bring a jockstrap or athletic supporter to wear post-surgery. Our office will provide you one.

    Don’t forget to sign a consent form before surgery. This is to protect both you and your doctor to ensure that you’re aware of what the operation entails and its potential risks.
     
    For more on how to prepare for your vasectomy, check out our earlier post on how to prepare for an Easy Vasectomy®.

     

    Clearing Up Vasectomy Reversal Myths | Minneapolis & St. Paul

    You may have contemplated whether or not a vasectomy reversal is the right option for you. But even after weighing the pros and cons, you may still be wondering if you have all the facts—after all, there’s a ton of information out there. It’s crucial to know what’s true and false about vasectomy reversals, so let’s break down some of its most common myths below.

    Myth: Vasectomy reversals are NOT effective for older men.

    It is entirely possible for an older patient to successfully undergo a vasectomy reversal and conceive a child. However, just as women may have more difficulty becoming pregnant as they advance in age, older men can also experience lower quality sperm that affects their overall chance of conceiving.

    Myth: After 10 years, a vasectomy reversal will NOT work.

    While it’s true that higher success rates are associated with vasectomy reversals performed closer to the original vasectomy date (within five years), the average success rates for ALL reversals—including those performed even 15 years after—are still fairly high. Your chances of a successful reversal increase greatly by finding a highly-skilled doctor to perform the procedure.

    Myth: In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is quicker and easier than having a vasectomy reversal.

    Many couples tend to assume that IVF is both easier and more cost-effective, but IVF can be extremely draining and time-consuming. In fact, the cost of IVF is actually more expensive than that of vasovasostomy (the most common type of vasectomy reversal) performed in an office setting. IVF often requires multiple cycles and treatments, potentially becoming much more expensive than initially believed.

    Myth: Vasectomy reversals are 100 percent guaranteed to work and lead to fatherhood.

    Success rates change depending on individual patient circumstances and do not solely rely on whether or not a reversal procedure was performed. Important factors to consider include the time between the original vasectomy and the vasectomy reversal, the type of vasectomy originally performed, and the surgeon who performs the reversal. Furthermore, what should be considered a “success” is evidence of responsive sperm—not simply the intended result of having a child.

    Myth: Couples should not try to conceive right after a vasectomy reversal for fear of a “leftover, defective sperm.”

    New sperm are constantly created and reabsorbed by the body, meaning they don’t stick around and “age” and grow defective. Immediately following a reversal, any “older” remaining sperm from pre-reversal that are still being broken down will quickly lose their motility and have little chance of meeting the egg. There is also no evidence to suggest that an early pregnancy following a vasectomy reversal is linked to higher risk of miscarriage, birth defects or health problems in babies.

    Myth: Some vasectomies are not reversible due to how they were originally performed.

    This is simply false. While there are different ways to perform a vasectomy, it is very rare for one to be irreversible in the hands of a skilled surgeon, regardless of how it was originally performed. However, it’s important to note that if the long segment of a patient’s vas deferens is cut away, or the position of the cut in the vas deferens is either too high or too low, then the reversal procedure and success rate could potentially be affected.

     

    Getting Back Into Exercise & Fitness After a Vasectomy | Minneapolis & St Paul

    Great news—so you underwent a vasectomy, and everything went smoothly. Now, it’s time to talk recovery process, downtime, and the timeline for easing back into your usual activities. For many patients, a regular routine involves some form of fitness and exercise, be it lifting weights at the gym, running, a pick-up basketball game, or biking.

    But returning to your regularly scheduled programming takes anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, and rushing into strenuous activities too soon can cause extreme pain/discomfort in the surgical area. The key is to regain your fitness routine while being extremely mindful of anything that may cause infection in or reopen the surgical wound. Below is an overall guideline for regaining fitness levels after undergoing a vasectomy:

    Immediately After Surgery

    As soon as you complete a vasectomy procedure, you should not engage in any form of physical activity for 48 hours. This includes any form of exercise, sports, sexual activity, prolonged periods of standing, or even walking. Try to stay off your feet as much as possible, and follow care instructions provided by your doctor. Just turn on Netflix, ice the surgical area if you prefer, and rest. That’s it.

    First Week After Surgery

    In the 3-7 days following surgery, you can gradually increase your amount of physical activity ONLY if necessary. Rigorous exercise and sports should still be avoided, and do not lift objects (and babies!) heavier than 20 pounds.

    If you feel fine after approximately four days and aren’t experiencing any discomfort/pain, walking or light exercises are allowed. Avoid anything more intense like weight-lifting, running, or biking, as this can cause significant build-up in pressure in the treated area. Furthermore, biking puts pressure on the penis and could hinder the healing process.

    Two Weeks After Surgery

    After two weeks of downtime, most men are able to resume their usual workouts (except extreme heavy lifting…more on that below). Non-contact sports such as golfing, bowling, tennis, and biking are allowed, but again, be extra aware of any pain or swelling. Stop activities immediately if aching occurs.

    3+ Weeks After Surgery

    While three or more weeks sounds like an excruciatingly long period of downtime, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Contact sports such as football, boxing, wrestling, hockey, basketball, martial arts, etc should not be resumed for at least three weeks after surgery.

    **ATTENTION, WEIGHT LIFTERS: Wait at least four weeks before attempting heavy weights in low-repetition sets. Stick to lighter weights for now, as intense spurts of heavy lifting can significantly build up pressure in the surgical area and lead to massive internal bleeding in the scrotum. Not fun.

    Ultimately, follow your doctor’s guidance on what is appropriate for your post-surgery timeline. Keep a close eye on signs of pain, swelling, and discomfort and judge your fitness abilities accordingly. In the event of any unpleasant side effects due to exercise, contact your physician immediately.

    18 Vasectomy Facts | Minneapolis & St Paul

    • factsA vasectomy is one of the most popular forms of contraception in the United States and worldwide. Each year, more than half million men in the US choose to get a vasectomy.
    • The No Scalpel Vasectomy procedure was developed in the early 1970s in China. About 50 million No-Scalpel Vasectomies have been performed around the world.
    • The introduction of no-needle, no-scalpel vasectomy has successfully allayed many men’s fears with regard to the needle and scalpel.
    • Vasectomies are nearly 100 percent effective, the failure rate is estimated to be one out of every 2000 if 3 steps of occlusion is used during vasectomy:
      1. cuts the vas deferens
      2. destroys the lining of the tube
      3. places small titanium clips (or sutures) in the vas fascia to separate the opened ends of vas deferens.
    • They don’t reduce a man’s sexual drive, virility, or ability to have or enjoy sex.
    • Most vasectomies are done in the doctors’ offices. A No-Scalpel Vasectomy takes only about 10 minutes.
    • Most patients can go back to work in two days.
    • Non-scalpel vasectomy is very safe office procedure. The incidence of complications from a vasectomy is very low due to minimal invasive non-scalpel technique.
    • Sterilization for a man (vasectomy) is significantly less expensive than for a woman (tubal ligation), which may be up to five times more costly. A vasectomy can cost between $700 and $2,000. There may be little or no cost to you since most health care insurance programs cover vasectomies.
    • A vasectomy has very little effect on ejaculate itself. Semen consists of sperm, fluid from the seminal vesicles and the prostate gland. Sperm is the only thing missing from the ejaculate, so removing them has little or no effect on the volume (2-5 percent ),, appearance, color, or consistency.

    Limitations of Vasectomy:

    • Not 100% reversible
    • Must use other forms of birth-control for three months until sperm-free.
    • Does not prevent transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STI’s).

    Advantages of Vasectomy…

    • Low one-time expense often covered by insurance companies
    • More dependable than any other form of contraception including female sterilization.
    • Eliminates risks associated with birth control pills or shots and the IUD.
    • Vasectomy reversals are less costly and more successful than tubal ligation reversals (see Vasectomy Reversal).
    • No need for inconvenient and less dependable methods, so there are…
    • no more worries!!!!

    • Sign Up for Our E-Newsletter
    blog icon facebook icon
    Click for the BBB Business Review of this Health & Medical - General in Edina MN   Click for the Patients' Choice award   ASLMS logo   American Board of Laser Surgery logo
    Click for the IMQ accreditation in Minneapolis, MN American Association for Primary Care Endoscopy logo