RISKS OF VASECTOMY
Although Vasectomy is a very safe procedure, as with any procedure there are associated risks. All of these will be discussed in detail during your consultation appointment.
There is a small risk of bleeding due to vasectomy, about 0.5%, or 1 in 200 men. During the procedure, the doctor will control any bleeding directly. Rarely, bleeding may occur after vasectomy, forming a haematoma (bruise) under the skin. The majority of the time this will stop on its own and the body will absorb the haematoma naturally. In a very small number of men, another procedure may be required to drain the haematoma. We always ask whether you are on any medications that can cause bleeding, or if you have a history of bleeding easily, so we can take the appropriate steps to minimize the chance of bleeding.
The risk of infection after No Needle, No Scalpel Vasectomy is very low, approximately 0.4%, or 1 in 250 men. The vast majority of these infections can be treated with oral medications, although even more rarely, surgical drainage may be required.
Many men do not have any need for painkillers after vasectomy, and of those who do, most require only a short course of over-the-counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen. However, about 1% to 2% of men* have long term pain, called post-vasectomy pain syndrome. Scrotal support and anti-inflammatory medication will improve these symptoms in the majority of men, but they are not always successful. Rarely, surgical procedures may be performed in an attempt to treat this condition.
In some men a small lump the size of a pea may be felt under the scrotal skin, at the site of the vasectomy. This is called a sperm granuloma, which is your body's reaction to the procedure, and is not in itself a complication. Most men are not aware that it is there, although it may be sensitive if it is squeezed directly with fingers. In the small number of men who develop post vasectomy pain syndrome, some find that their pain is localized to this lump. This can usually be treated initially with anti-inflammatories. If necessary, removal of the granuloma can correct these symptoms.
*This information has been updated to reflect the 2012 American Urological Association Vasectomy Guideline.