Although a no-scaple Easy vasectomy® is one of the safest procedures, there are still chances of minor complications, such as infection, bleeding or transient bruising, temporary swelling or fluid accumulation. A Few patients experience a dull ache in the scrotal region, but this usually resolves with time.
The potential risks and complications:
- Bleeding under the skin that may cause scrotum area to look bruised. Hematoma (collection of blood) in the scrotum that should be reported immediately.
- Infection occurs in the wound or inside scrotum, more common if there is a hematoma (blood collecting) beneath the skin, can be treated with antibiotics, hematoma evacuation, I&D drainage, and antimicrobial creams.
- Postoperative acute pain (mild) for a few days or occasional chronic dull ache (congestion) in the testicles, usually disappears within six months.
- Congestion: tender buildup of sperm and white blood cells upstream from or at the vasectomy site, can occur anytime after vasectomy, but usually goes away with use of an anti-inflammatory drug such as aspirin or ibuprofen. About one in 2000 patients will experience chronic post-vasectomy discomfort (PVPS or Post-Vasectomy Pain Syndrome) severe enough that he will seek vasectomy reversal or neurolysis (division of the sensory nerves coming from the testes). A larger percentage may have milder forms of chronic pain that can affect quality of life but not severely enough to seek vasectomy reversal.
- Sperm granulomas is a pea-sized (sometimes tender) lump on the vas tube at the vasectomy site, almost never requiring treatment. Periodic tenderness usually responds to an anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen. A few men are so troubled by chronic tenderness that they may choose to undergo removal of the lump, an office procedure performed under local anesthesia similar to the original vasectomy.
- Recanalization is the development of a channel for sperm flow between the two cut ends of the vas. If this happens during the healing process (early), the semen never becomes sperm-free until the vasectomy is repeated. If recanalization happens late (months or years after a man’s semen has been examined and declared sperm-free), an unplanned pregnancy could result; but the odds of this occurring is far less after vasectomy than the odds of pregnancy with any other form of birth control including birth control pills and tubal ligation (female sterilization). Failure rates of vasectomy vary with the technique used to obstruct sperm flow through the vas tubes. In our practice, we have Zero failure in 2000 vasectomies Dr.Shu performed. Dr.Doug Stein reported that the early failure rate is about one in 2500 and the late failure rate is one in 3500 in 40000 vasectomies he performed. Failure also happens if the man has sex before all the sperm is confirmed to be gone.
- Epididymitis, when the larger tube behind the testicle becomes inflamed and swollen, can be treated with heat application and medication.
- Sexual difficulties for the man due to psychological and emotional responses to a vasectomy.
There are no proven long-term health risks (neither cancer nor cardiovascular disease) associated with vasectomy, but since questions have been raised, they are addressed in our page of Frequently Asked Questions(under construction).
Please remember, the risks of NOT having a vasectomy are all borne by the partners of men who choose to avoid vasectomy. And they are considerable!