Vasectomy is one of the most effective, common and safest forms of birth control. While most men find that any minor post-surgical discomfort resolves within a few days, a small percentage of patients (about 1-2%) experience post-surgical pain months after the procedure. Known as post-vasectomy pain syndrome (PVPS), men can experience a dull ache in the testes or pain during ejaculation several months after the vasectomy. While uncommon, PVPS is a problem that requires the attention and care of an experienced urologist to find the right solution.
In most cases of prolonged discomfort following vasectomy, a course of anti-inflammatory medication often clears any lingering post-surgical pain. If the chronic pain continues and does not respond to medication, then it’s time to dive deeper to find out the cause of the discomfort and determine the best treatment, which may include:
- Vasectomy reversal
- Open-ended vasectomy
- Microsurgical denervation of the spermatic cord
After an exam, we sometimes find that a man might experience pain at the site of the clips, or the area of the vasectomy where we have cut the vas deferens and sealed off the opening of the tube to ensure sperm does not mix with ejaculate. In this case, a microsurgical vasectomy reversal, a procedure that reattaches the vas deferens and allows sperm to flow through the tube during ejaculation, can effectively eliminate this pain. Vasectomy reversal, however, isn’t the only option for reducing post-vasectomy pain, and certainly not the best option for maintaining a man’s sterility.
Open-Ended Vasectomy- An Option to Maintain Sterility
An open-ended vasectomy is another procedure that is often successful at alleviating chronic testicular pain following vasectomy. In some men, we find on exam that the epididymis is full and this fluid build-up is causing the discomfort. An open-ended vasectomy is performed by cutting off the clips from testicular side of vas deferens and then burying the open end of the vas deferens under another layer of tissue. This allows the sperm to flow out of the epididymis but be trapped in the tissue, creating a sperm granuloma. The man remains sterile as desired because sperm is not allowed to reach the ejaculate, maintaining the integrity of the vasectomy.
[Read one patient’s positive experience with open-ended vasectomy to cure chronic testicular pain.]
No One-Size Fits-All Solution
In other cases, microsurgical denervation of the spermatic cord, also known as cord stripping, is a microsurgical procedure that helps alleviate chronic testicular pain by separating and removing the tissue carrying small nerves in the spermatic cord, which eliminates the nerves carrying pain signals.
When it comes to treating post-vasectomy pain, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Every man is unique and so are his symptoms, which is why seeing a urologist with experience in men’s sexual health and microsurgical techniques is critical to ensuring a positive outcome and the best individual solution. The ultimate goal is to restore a man’s quality of life.
Learn more about vasectomy, Dr. David Fenig’s specialties in men’s sexual and reproductive health, and read more patient success stories – visit www.drfenig.com.