This is my first post to this website. I have recently visited this site, and found the vasectomy page both informative and useful.
I had a VasClip vasectomy performed about 4 months ago. With this, I had the no scalpel technique done, to expose the vas tubes. In my mind, the no-scalpel technique, combined with the VasClip procedure, offered the most minimally-invasive procedure, with the least possible complications.
I must say however, that this was not entirely the case. This story may be quite detailed and quite a bit rambling, but here goes.
I did some research, and found a urologist that had done the VasClip vasectomy several times. I met with him, and he seemed pretty good, so he got the job, so to speak.
Now, as you may know, the Vasclip procedure does not cut the vas tubes at all, but instead, 2 tiny medical devices (1 for each side) uses a clip to basically clamp the vas tubes shut. The trauma to the tubes is much less, and the possibility of reversal is much better.
As mentioned earlier, the tubes were accessed using the no-scalpel technique, it which a tiny puncture is made in the top middle of the scrotum, then stretched to access both tubes. This area is first numbed of course, with a shot. The vas tubes were then numbed, with several shots of lidocaine, or whatever the chemical was. The shots into the tubes hurt more than the shot into the skin of the scrotum. The right side was done first, then the doc went on to the left side. For some reason, the left side proved more difficult. It required an extra shot of lidocaine, and the tube itself seemed harder to locate/isolate. I could hear a snap as each clip was clamped into place with a special tool the company sends with the clips.
The tubes were then put back in place inside the scrotum, then the area was bandaged, and I was fitted with a disposable jock-strap. As I was having a conversation with the doctor afterwards, I felt the anesthetic starting to wear-off a little bit. The left side started hurting a bit (this was a sign of things to come), but the doctor said that this was normal. I went home, and spent the weekend taking it easy (I had the procedure done on a Friday, and was back at work the following Monday). The opening to the scrotum was not stitched-up, by design. It was to close on its own.
About a day and a half after the procedure, I took the jock strap and dressing off, and couldn’t believe my eyes! Most of my scrotum was black and blue (dark purple, actually), as well as the underside of the base of my penis. A lot of bleeding under the skin it seemed. Everything down there was sore, especially the opening made to the scrotum. From the opening wound came some strange pain sensations. I had these prickly pain sensations that started at the opening made in the scrotum, which then radiated upwards, following the underside of the penis, up to the head. It honestly made me feel like I had a urinary tract infection. I did leave a urine sample with the lab, and they said the urine was clean (no infection). The opening to the scrotum took a week to close completely. It eventually healed with no trace of a scar, but before that, it left a lump of inflamed tissue beneath the skin that hurt for a whole month.
Another unsettling thing was that the cremaster muscle, the one that regulates how high or low the testicles hang (to keep the temp. constant), well, this muscle on the left side would tighten-up on its own, sometimes to a point where it was very uncomfortable, then it would “let go”. This uncomfortable phenomenon lasted intermittently for 3 whole months.
Also, I was left with sensitive testicles, especially the left one (for some reason, the left side had the worst of everything). The testicles were always on “high alert”, or DEFCON-5, if you know what I mean. The slightest blow hurt much more than it should have. I am 4 months post vasectomy now, and the testicles (mainly the left one) are still sensitive, although I am getting “used” to the increased sensitivity (but not too happy about it).
I have abandoned wearing boxers, and now wear briefs every day. Also, I’ve found it more comfortable to sleep with a pillow between my legs, so that the scrotum isn’t getting squeezed by my inner thighs.
Now to the clips. For the first month, I had considerable discomfort. It felt like the clips were irritating the surrounding tissue, which was inflamed and sensitive, due to the procedure. By a small amount each day, the discomfort lessened. But to this day, 4 months post Vasclip vasectomy, I still have intermittent pain down there. The pain is at times mild and bearable, but then for no reason, I would get these very sharp but brief spikes in pain. This worried me so much, that I asked for a scrotal ultrasound. The ultrasound came back normal, but the pain still happens intermittently, especially on the left side.
My doctor has had no Vasclip recipients, except me, that has had so much discomfort for such a long time, so he says. I’m his first, it seems. I have some theories as to what may be causing my discomfort. They are:
- For the sensitive testicles: I say it’s congestion of sperm, although the ultrasound didn’t show this.
- For the dull pain: congestion again (in the epididymides), and possibly lingering inflammation.
- For the sharp pains: my thoughts are perhaps pinched or damaged nerves, or the clips themselves.
In addition, I personally think the clips need to be redesigned. The locking mechanism of the clips is a bit bulky, and has somewhat rough edges to it. This isn’t good, considering it is rubbing-up against inflamed tissue.
That said, I am still glad I chose this route, only because it is much easier to reverse, should the need come. However, this very long recovery is very unsettling.
Also, I have some further thoughts I’d like to add to the above..
It is also my opinion that there is a “code of silence” among doctors performing vasectomies. What I mean by this is, they downplay the topic of post vasectomy pain syndrome. They usually never even mention it. The docs lead you to believe that this is a simple procedure, to which you will completely recover in less than a week, with no long-lasting side effects or discomfort.
If lingering pain does happen, they simply tell you to “give it more time, and it will go away”. If it doesn’t go away, then one is basically on his own. Not good, I say.
I would like to add that my discomfort does not seem to be improving, and I am starting to seriously consider a reversal in the near future.
October 28, 2006 Update
A lot has happened since my last post, and I thought I’d take the time to update you, as I feel a strong need to share what has happened to me.
My daily discomfort never ceased, and I made the decision to have the vasclips removed. I won a long battle with my insurance company, and they finally agreed to cover the costs involved. As I sit here at my PC now, it has been 6 days since the surgery, to not only remove the vasclips, but to repair the damage that they caused. My urologist said that it looked like my body was trying to reject the vasclip implants. If you were to speak with the VasClip company, they would say that this is unheard of, and impossible.
Well, I am living proof that it can indeed happen. In addition, due to (in my opinion) poor design, one of the vasclips got hung-up on some sensitive tissue, and caused painful “tethering” of the vas. My urologist removed the clips, and did his best to repair the damage they have caused me. But, the operation was painful, and to this day I am in pain, although it is predicted to eventually go away completely. Also, I believe that sperm congestion was an issue as well, as the vasclip procedure is similar to a closed-ended vasectomy.
I strongly regret getting a vasclip vasectomy. Those 2 little clips caused me many months of daily pain. It will be a long time before I recover. All in all, I am extremely upset, and am planning to spread the word, and advise anyone I can to avoid both the vasclip vasectomy, and the traditional vasectomy, at all costs!!
Thank you for letting me share this story. I will update again in the future.
Submitted by Anthony