Vasectomy Reversal Risks and Complications
In general, vasectomy reversal is a very safe procedure. In healthy men, vasectomy reversal risks are very unusual. Less than 1% of men have a significant problem with anesthesia and less than 5% of men experience vasectomy reversal complications from hematoma. It is defined as a sizeable collection of blood that pools in the scrotum because of a ruptured blood vessel. Some swelling is expected after such surgery, but excessive scrotal swelling could be a hematoma. If there is significant scar tissue encountered during the vasectomy reversal procedure, fluid other than blood (seroma) can accumulate in the scrotum as well in less than 5% of cases. In these cases, reversalist Dr. Turek tends to leave small rubber drains in the scrotum to allow the fluid to drain out quickly over 24 hours, and prevent it from collecting in the scrotum and taking much longer to resolve.
Pain After Vasectomy Reversal
The vasectomy reversal risk of surgical infection is less than 1%. Dr. Turek gives a single dose of antibiotics 1 hour before the procedure to minimize this. An infection may require oral antibiotics, or in its most serious form, intravenous (by vein) antibiotics and hospitalization. Fevers and increased scrotal discomfort are clues that this may be happening. The risk of an infection of the surgical incision is more rare (less than 1%) but may also require antibiotics. During or after vasectomy reversal, when a small amount of sperm and fluid leaks out of the reconnected site, it may induce an inflammatory reaction termed a granuloma (risk less than 1%) that may be painful, but usually resolves with time. Rarely this will disrupt the reconnection.
Failure of the vasectomy reversal to produce a sperm count in the ejaculate is a risk but not a complication. This is an unfortunate outcome and can be due to
- ) poor sperm production with a correctly performed vasectomy reversal procedure or
- ) normal sperm production and a technical issue (reconnected site has scarred down) or judgment issue (needed an epididymovasotomy instead of a vasovasostomy) with the vasectomy reversal procedure.
If you would like to learn more about vasectomy reversal complications, schedule a consultation with Dr. Turek at The Turek Clinic.