Vasectomy Reversal Planning & Recovery
Dr. Turek likes to meet and examine every patient who is considering a vasectomy reversal at his San Francisco or Los Angeles office. This consultation can take place anytime before the procedure, but it is important to learn as much as possible about the current fertility potential of the man planning a vasectomy reversal. Read on to learn more about what to expect before and after the vasectomy reversal procedure.
Your Vasectomy Reversal Consultation Visit
The pre-procedure visit is important in order to meet and feel comfortable with Dr. Paul Turk and so he can learn more about your expectations for the procedure and assess if it is right for you. At this visit:
Dr. Turek will ask you questions about past pregnancies that you have been associated with, your medical and surgical history, and your sense of how well your initial vasectomy went – including any post-procedural symptoms of pain or swelling.
Dr. Turek will ask questions about your female partner, with particular interest in her age, her past pregnancy history, her medical health, and her menstrual cycle history. If your partner is over 35 years old, Dr. Turek might recommend that she have a blood test on day 3 of her cycle and will inquire about whether she has ever had a dye study of her uterus to look for blockage, fibroids, and other anatomical issues.
Dr. Turek will perform a brief physical examination to ensure that you are a good candidate for a vasectomy reversal.
Dr. Turek will then discuss the vasectomy reversal procedure, including the benefits and risks, to ensure that you have a good idea of what the surgery and the recovery will involve. During this discussion Dr. Turek will provide you with an information packet that includes additional information about the estimated recovery time, his success rates with vasectomy reversal surgery, and a pre-procedure checklist.
- Eat normally the night before surgery, but follow the directions that anesthesia recommends for the morning of surgery. If no specific directions are given, withhold all food and drink after midnight and on the morning of surgery.
- Do not take any aspirin, or any medications containing ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Aleve) at least 10 days prior to the procedure, as these medications have a side effect that can reducing platelet function and therefore lower blood clotting ability.
- Someone will need to drive you home or to your hotel after the procedure, following your recovery from sedation. Buy some frozen peas or mixed vegetable bags from the grocery to use as a cold “sandbag” to the area after the procedure.
Vasectomy Reversal Recovery Tips
Remove all dressings from inside the athletic supporter for 48 hours following your vasectomy reversal surgery. Continue with the scrotal support for 1 week after the procedure. You can shower once the dressings are removed and you can bathe after 1 week. Remember that hot baths are not good for fertility!
Apply ice to the scrotum frequently for 24 hours following the vasectomy reversal. After 24 hours, discontinue ice usage.
Prescribed pain medication can be taken as directed after the surgery. Two to three days after the vasectomy reversal, Extra-Strength Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) should be sufficient for pain relief.
The scrotal incisions from your surgery are closed with absorbable sutures and therefore they do not need to be removed. It may take up to 3-4 weeks for the sutures to dissolve completely. In the meantime, the skin in the area will feel swollen.
Resume a normal, well-balanced diet when you return home or to the hotel. Be sure to drink lots of fluids.
Normal, non-vigorous activity can be resumed 48 hours after your procedure. You may return to work in three to four days as long as your work does not involve heavy physical activity. Heavy activities such as jogging and weight lifting can be resumed after two to three weeks after the vasectomy reversal.
Refrain from sexual intercourse for three to four weeks depending on the extent of your vasectomy reversal procedure. Dr. Turek will discuss your exact limitations during your post-op consultation.
If you are in San Francisco, please return to the office in 7-10 days for a checkup. Dr. Turek would like to check the semen for sperm at 6 weeks after vasectomy reversal and this can be scheduled at the first visit or over the phone. In general, monthly semen analyses are then obtained for about 4-6 months after vasectomy reversal or until the semen analysis stabilizes. Remember, it is important to abstain from intercourse for 2-3 days prior to providing a semen sample.
You may experience discomfort after the procedure. Common symptoms include the following and do not require a doctor’s attention:
- Bruising and discoloration of the scrotal skin and base of penis. It might become black and blue and this is normal after surgery. This will take one week to go away.
- Some scrotal swelling. A grapefruit is too large.
- A small amount of thin, clear, pinkish fluid may drain from the incision for a few days after surgery. Keep the area clean and dry and it will stop.
- If you received general anesthesia, a sore throat, nausea, constipation, and general “body ache” may occur. These problems should resolve within 48 hours.
Postoperative complications are rare. If either of the following occurs, you should seek prompt medical attention by calling Dr. Turek.
- Wound Infection: This usually means a fever, a warm, swollen, red and painful incision area, with pus draining from the site. Antibiotics are necessary to treat this.
- Scrotal Hematoma: Extreme discoloration (black and blue) of the skin and continuing scrotal enlargement occurs from bleeding underneath and can cause throbbing pain and a bulging of the wound. If the scrotum hurts more and continues to enlarge after 72 hours, then it may need to be drained.