WHAT TO EXPECT DURING POST OP RECOVERY
A good vasectomy reversal surgery is characterized by adequate post-op care. Your urological surgeon and team of health professionals will provide you with detailed instructions to follow after your vasectomy reversal surgery. It is important that you follow those instructions. But, for those wondering what lies ahead as you recover from the reversal surgery, here are some common experiences and advice.
SOME PAIN, SWELLING, BRUISING, OR DISCOLORATION OF THE SCROTAL AREA AND BASE OF THE PENIS IS CONSIDERED NORMAL!
First, it is normal to experience some pain and discomfort following the procedure, but this is very manageable, and often similar to the pain experienced following a vasectomy.
One of the best ways to alleviate the pain and discomfort of the surgery is by applying ice packs to the scrotum area. A package of frozen peas will serve this need quite nicely. Applying ice will help reduce any pain and swelling you may experience. Prescription pain medication may be prescribed by your physician for the first 48 hours after the procedure, and can be taken as needed. Usually, after the second day, over-the-counter pain medications will be all that is necessary.
Your may resume a regular, well-balanced diet after surgery. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids, unless your doctor advises otherwise.
Following surgery, the area may become black and blue, and you may notice swelling. This is normal after surgery, and should go away after about a week. Scrotal swelling to the size of a grapefruit, however, is not normal, and you should contact your doctor immediately.
You may notice a small amount of thin, clear, pinkish fluid draining from the incision for a few days after the vasectomy reversal. This is perfectly normal. Just keep the area clean and dry, and it will stop on its own. For the first few days, you may find it helpful to add 2 or 3 gauze pads under the scrotal support until any bleeding or draining resolves.
The incisions made during your surgery will probably be closed using absorbable sutures which will not need to be removed. It may take as many as 4 weeks for these sutures to dissolve completely. During this time, the skin in this area may feel swollen.
Depending on the type of anesthesia you were given for your surgery, you may experience a sore throat, constipation, nausea, and general “body aches”. These symptoms should resolve within 48 hours.
RESUMING ACTIVITIES AFTER SURGERY
If your work does not include any heavy lifting or vigorous physical activity, you should be able to return to work within 2-4 days. You should not participate in any activity that causes you discomfort.
Patients should refrain from lifting items which weigh more that 15 to 20 pounds for the first two to four weeks after surgery. While normal day-to-day activities may be resumed within a few days following surgery, excessive walking or running should be avoided for the first few weeks after surgery. Should you experience pain in your lower abdomen or groin area, it’s usually an indication that you need to provide better scrotal support, or you are simply doing too much, too soon.
Most patients find it helpful to wear scrotal support, such as a jock strap, for the week following surgery, to provide stability and reduce pain and swelling in the area.
You can expect to refrain from sexual intercourse for 3-4 weeks after surgery, so take your time. Your doctor will give you better information on exact limitations after your procedure. After surgery, you should refrain from ejaculating for 2-4 weeks. Ejaculating too soon could cause problematic scarring.
While the risk of postoperative complications are very rare with a vasectomy reversal, if they do occur, you should seek prompt medical attention and contact your doctor right away.
The Final Results
Most patients will find recovery from a vasectomy reversal procedure to be fairly easy. Always follow your doctor’s instructions precisely, and keep all postoperative follow-up appointments. Then, after total recovery, please be sure to let us know if you find that you are expecting a baby!