this is not intended as a forum for medical advice, only discussion.
Subject: Relief after 21 years
Great collection of data thar' boy. Best
TRUE LIFE vasectomy site on the web.
I just had a reversal - 21 years on - for
pain relief. The smoking gun was a congested and distended right
convoluted vas. Still some discomfort, and sensitivity to caffeine, but
largely relieved by the op.
The odds of getting pain or complications
from the unkindest cut are just too high. ALL YOU GUYS: JUST SAY NO!
Response: In subsequent
correspondence with "T", he revealed that his pain began 15
years after his vasectomy. He spent much of the last 6.5 years finding a
doctor who understood post-vasectomy pain syndrome enough to assess how
to treat it properly, in this case with vasectomy reversal.
"T" says his pain is still present but decreased, he's off
medication, and has experienced some testicular atrophy, which,
unfortunately, is not uncommon following vasectomy. Several others have
mentioned this sensitivity to caffeine also. See below.
Subject: Caffeine increases pain
I was wondering if others might have made
the following observation. I began to have testicular pain 3-4 years
ago. Over the past few months I have discovered that a major factor in
my testicular pain has been caffeine. If I drink no coffee, no tea, and
avoid caffeinated drinks, my problem is minimal. But even half a cup of
coffee brings on discomfort, and if I drink caffeine beverages regularly
I become almost incapacitated with pain.
Response: If laying off of the
caffeinated drinks reduces pain, this seems like a small price to pay. I
don't have any idea what the relationship might be with this kind of
body chemistry response, but after several years of chronic
post-vasectomy pain myself, nothing really surprises me any more.
Subject: Spouse's reaction to vasectomy
I am a female spouse seeking any help I
can find. To make a very long story short, my spouse had his vasectomy
200% AGAINST my beliefs and convictions. I tried telling him all the
items you are bringing to the public (thank you, thank you, thank you)
and by God the urologist told him to my face that I was nuts, that
NOBODY really had any complications and I was just basically to be
ignored and it was his RIGHT to do this without my consent right now
after meeting with him for less than 6 minutes tops. Come to the next
room and let's get started and send her to the waiting room to wait!
…No body talks about spouses who DO NOT
want sterilization in the marriage and we are run over like trains by
the same "professionals" who only want to make money on the
procedure or counseling afterwards to "help you see how
ridiculous" feeling anything other than rapturous joy and the
complete picture…. They only have a vested interest to do
sterilization as often as possible on anyone over 18 and… they live
with none of the very real physical, financial, and emotional
consequences and just surgically mutilate the next person for the next
guaranteed income source…. How many of the ones all messed up keep
going back to the same doctor who messed them up in the first place?
…Good luck on your work! I will submit
it for shelving at my local library. Trust me, the public libraries will
stock these items when requested and this could expand your needed
exposure of this medical standard of lies, untruths, misleading
questions and dismissals based on opinions, not facts, by providers and
open up the liability for health altering procedures that are not having
the "informed consent" in ANY time they are being performed on
otherwise healthy adults.
Response: Several things about
this situation amaze me. The fact that the urologist denied anyone
having complications flies in the face of so much evidence that there
seems to be a huge liability here. Speaking of liability, literature
from within the urology industry repeatedly recommends that a couple be
in complete agreement about sterilization in any form before the
procedure is done. That is, after informed consent is obtained. The next
puzzling issue is why the urologist did the procedure immediately. Many
states have required waiting periods after the initial consultation. If
you would like any of the information about these legally oriented
items, please let me know.
Subject: Post-vasectomy pain therapies
I had a vasectomy in October of 1998, and
have groin pain in my left testicle since. Although the pain is not near
as severe or frequent now, when the pain comes back, I contemplate
having some sort of reversal. The pain seems to come back if I lift
something heavy, or squat down in a incorrect way. I have been a very
active person, but since the operation my life has changed. You
mentioned swimming as a pain relief, could you explain more on that?
Also, what do you think about reversal, and do you know of any
specialist? I am so glad to talk to someone who has the same problem,
but it sounds like you have had a much more severe problem.
Response: Our "problem"
motivates us into unusual discussions and to consider unusual options,
doesn't it? The question of whether a reversal will work or nor seems to
be dependent on several factors. If congestion and ruptures in the
epididymis wit the associated autoimmune response is the only culprit,
then a reversal can help. Some men recommend vasoepididymostomy to
bypass the injured area as much as possible. Some recommend
vasovasostomy to reestablish the most natural flow. It is hard to say
who is right. I had a vasovasostomy performed in April of 2000, and
still have consistent pain.
The reversal did not take away the
autoimmune response, and I have pursued testosterone therapy since with
reasonable success in this regard. The best specialist I know of is in
Los Angeles: Dr. Philip Werthman, at 310/277-2873. He has been guiding
me through the process and has been great to work with. The issue
remaining in my case, and evidently that of many others, is nerve damage
from the original vasectomy that exacerbates the pain response. This is
very hard to resolve, as injured nerves don't tend to get better with
more surgeries. Neurectomy has been suggested, but the pain specialist I
have been working with at Stanford recommends against it.
Non-invasive therapies seem to do the
most good. Swimming takes the load off in my experience and at least
allows me to work out my upper body. A gentle yoga practice also seems
to alleviate the spread of pain. Myofascial release therapy for the
abdomen, lower back, and pelvic floor muscles has also been helpful.
There are forms of testicular massage you can do for yourself that are
intended to alleviate congestion and stimulate blood flow. Let me know
if you want a copy of any of this information. As you know, one of the
key issues is to be able to alleviate the spread of pain enough to have
a life while you search for a cure. Taking charge of your own healing
and finding out what works well for your body is key in this process.
Subject: Open-Ended Vasectomy
I am interested in having a vasectomy and
have read some of the problems associated with it. Does open-ended
vasectomy overcome any of these possible problems?
Response: Some research has shown
open-ended vasectomy to reduce the incidence of chronic testicular pain
following vasectomy by a factor of three. This research also shows that
open-ended vasectomy virtually guarantees that granulomas will form at
the testicular end of the vas. A key point to remember is that both
open-ended vasectomy and closed-ended vasectomy have a high likelihood
(70% or better) of resulting in a life-long autoimmune reaction due to
sperm cells being retained in the body and rupturing into the
bloodstream. See the reference section of the website for a list of
articles detailing this response. Many doctors claim that all these
responses are harmless. My experience and the experience of many others
who have posted messages to this site is that the effects can be
devastating and painful. You have to decide if you want to take the risk
as opposed to other forms of birth control. Learn these risks before
having the procedure, because once you do, it is often very difficult to
Subject: Appropriate medical procedures and inappropriate erections
I had a spermatic cord nerve block done
on Monday on the advice of my doctor, and since then I have turned black
and blue on my right side of my scrotum and even on the right side of my
penis in addition to a great deal more pain than usual since my
vasectomy. I called my urologist today to express my concern about the
discoloration and increased pain that the Vicodin was not touching. I
had to see another urologist since my doctor was in surgery (here we go
again, explaining the story to another doctor). Well, he said that I had
a good size hematoma and that it should go away in about a week. He then
asked if I had even had anyone milk my prostate to check for infection.
I had never had this done before. He thought it would be best since I
had two signs of prostatitis: painful testicles and pain following
ejaculation. It turns out that I had a great deal of white blood cells
in the secreted fluids that indicate an infection. I don't anticipate
that this is the only reason I'm having pain, but it may contribute. The
doctor prescribed a round of the antibiotic Levoquin to treat the
prostatitis and an antidepressant called Trazodone. I looked up the
Trazodone on the Internet and found that the side effects can include
prolonged, painful, or inappropriate erections. I got a kick out of the
"inappropriate" part. I'll admit, with all this pain, I could
use some 'inappropriate' erections to give me more confidence. I'll let
you know how things go.
Response: After everything you've
been through, you should have license to have an erection anywhere and
any time you want. Here's hoping it just doesn't hurt to use it too
much. Prostatitis is seen commonly after vasectomy, both in the
infectious and noninfectious variety, according to the Prostatitis Web
Site, Vasectomy Page at www.prostate.org.
Urologists at UCLA have been doing studies on this subject and trying
various bioflavenoids, such as Quercetin as methods of treatment. For
myself, I've decided that any direct assault on the nerves in my groin
causes way too much additional pain for any "diagnostic"
benefit that might result, and any blocks that I will allow to be done
need to approach the subject from the back, as in the Superior
Hypogastric Nerve Block that I've had done at Stanford Pain Clinic.
Can you guys believe this? I have been
getting very hot and not knowing why. I called my internist and he said
this what I am getting is like female menopause because my hormones are
so out of balance after my vasectomy. He said to take vitamin E. This is
the only somewhat funny thing that has happened yet. I had better not
have grown ovaries too! Any suggestions?
Response: Dr Malcolm Carruthers
discusses how vasectomy can affect testosterone and other hormone levels
in his book MAXIMISING MANHOOD: BEATING THE MALE MENOPAUSE. This
is evidently quite common as an undisclosed side effect of the
procedure, and many men have experienced impotence and other symptoms as
a result. Hormone replacement therapy can help this condition in many
cases according to Dr. Carruthers.