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I had a vasectomy about a year ago (May 06) and I am still experiencing chronic pain and discomfort. My initial recovery took a while but after a few months I started feeling like things were getting back to normal and I began to increase my activities. In November of ‘06 I started to notice periodic sharp pains deep in the groin area. I also felt the need to periodically lift my penis off my testicles and rest it above them in my underwear. By late November the periodic sharp pains then turned into chronic sensations in the scrotum and pelvis areas that vary from a kicked in the balls feeling to extreme tenderness in the testicles. The variance in sensations seem to depend on what I am doing. For instance, when sitting such as driving in the car or on soft surfaces I get that kicked in the balls feeling (I do better on flat surfaces). However, if I’m walking or moving around my testicles become very tender and swollen.
My urologist who performed the vasectomy prescribed anti-inflammatory and antibiotics which have not helped. I started to research fertility doctors who specialize in microscopic vasectomy reversals to see if this was a potential option. I did locate a reputable doctor who specializes in this area. After seeing him, he ordered a scrotal ultrasound. The results came back as swelling and mass in the scrotum. He didn’t get into too much detail with the results but did talk about the issue being a comfort problem most likely epididymal inflammation causing the discomfort. We discussed my options and he recommended seeing a pain management specialist. I inquired about a reversal and he felt it was too soon for that. He mentioned that in some cases this could clear up given time and that would be the best way to go for now.
He wants me to give it a year (starting today) to clear up and if it doesn’t he will perform a reversal. I’m interested in your thoughts on this treatment plan. Although my pain and discomfort is not excruciating in nature, it’s bad enough that it impacts my quality of life in that it compromises everything I do from physical activities to just sitting comfortably relaxing.
I’m sure I can put up with it for another year if the pain and discomfort stays as is. I’m more concerned about the possible damage that could occur if there remains constant swelling to the testicles for another year. I know the epididymis is a delicate organ. How much can it take before the damage becomes non-repairable to the point that it reduces the potential success of a reversal relieving the symptoms. I appreciate your feedback.Dr. Edward Karpman
A generous waiting period is not a bad idea for patients with chronic testicular pain, especially when the pain is tolerable and does not prevent your activities of daily living. Obviously, any pain limits a person’s activities to some extent relative to what they were feeling previously. A thorough evaluation of the pain with careful scrotal examination and ultrasound suggesting persistent inflammation would be a good reason to consider delaying surgical treatment for this condition. If the pain is due to back pressure and congestion in the epididymis after a vasectomy, the chances of a successful vasectomy reversal only 2 years after your vasectomy are extremely high. The success of vasectomy reversal two years after a vasectomy is approximately 97%.
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