Vasectomy is a minimally invasive procedure that can be done safely in the office. The procedure is performed painlessly under local anesthesia. The patients in Minnesota feel mild discomfort and/or aching in the first couple days after the anesthetic wears off, however most patients don’t take any pain medications after no scalpel vasectomy. Fear of pain is still the number one reason for men in Minnesota to resist getting a vasectomy because they don’t want to have surgery near their genital organs. A good consultation before vasectomy the helps to relieve anxiety.
Another concern related to pain in the vasectomy ischronic scrotal pain. Pain continues in 3 months or more after the procedure. The old literature suggests that approximately 20% of men will have “chronic pain” following the vasectomy. This surprisingly high rate is probably caused by traditional surgical technique which closes the ends of vas at the surgery or influenced by other compounding factors. Men in Minneapolis and St Paul continue to produce sperm at about the same rate as before, so the sperm have to go somewhere. They typically build up in the epididymis, which is a 16-foot-long tightly coiled tube behind each testicle. Some men become sensitive to the buildup of pressure in the duct and begin to experience pain.
The urologist Dr. Turek in San Francisco in California did a survey in his patients to examine the issue of chronic scrotal pain in his practice. Overall, 7% of respondents said they had pain, much lower than the rate in the literature. In addition, no man in the survey was self-medicating for pain. He also surveyed healthy medical students who had not had a vasectomy and found almost identical findings: 5% had chronic pain, sometimes in the scrotum, but often elsewhere – and without a vasectomy! He concluded that: 1) normal, healthy men occasionally have scrotal and other kinds of pain, making the scrotum a “hot spot” for men, 2) the prevalence of this pain in his patients is no different from that found in healthy men without vasectomies, and 3) the men at highest risk for having pain after vasectomy are men with pain in the scrotum or even elsewhere before the vasectomy. This data has been reassuring information for all patients in Minnesota to know. We believe that no scalpel vasectomy has very low rate of chronic scrotal pain, and we haven’t had any reports on the chronic scrotal pain from our vasectomy patients in Minnesota yet.