Preparing for a vasectomy reversal
Preparing for a vasectomy reversal begins with discussing the procedure with a urologist. Many questions will be answered by reviewing the pre-operative instructions given to each patient during an initial visit. Following these instructions will benefit the patient both during and following their procedure. These instructions include the following:
- Patients should not eat or drink after midnight the night before their surgery.
- Eliminating the use of blood thinners, including aspirin, and anti-inflammatory medications for several days before the surgery. These medications can increase the risk of bleeding. All patients should review their current medication list with the urologist.
- Patients are asked to shave the front portion of their scrotum on the day of surgery.
- Men should bring loose fitting clothing and an athletic supporter when they come to the hospital or surgery center. They will wear these items upon departure.
- It is recommended that all patients have a driver to take them home after surgery.
Healing after a vasectomy reversal
Patients can expect that the recovery after a vasectomy reversal will be somewhat different than the original vasectomy. This is due to the use ofg eneral anesthesia and the length of the procedure – generally two to three hours. To assist in their recovery, patients are advised to adhere to the following guidelines:
- Keep all of activities to a minimum for four to five days unless advised by the urologist.
- Do not lift anything heavy. Refrain from physical exertion for the first three to four weeks.
- Use an ice pack or frozen bag of peas on the scrotum for short periods of time. This can soothe the scrotal area, and minimize swelling.
- Wear snug cotton briefs or an athletic supporter for extra support.
- Patients may experience discomfort from their surgery, including swelling, bruising, or discoloration in the scrotal area.
- General anesthesia can cause headache, body ache, nausea, or other minor symptoms. These should diminish within the first few days.
- Patients may resume sexual activity when you are comfortable, usually after 2 weeks. It is best to ask the urologist for their recommendation. Men may notice blood in their semen, which is normal.
- The doctor will advise the patient on the appropriate use of painkillers and/or antibiotics if necessary.
- Patients should take showers, rather than baths, for the first few days after surgery.
Contact your physician immediately if you are experiencing a high fever, chills, increased pain or swelling at the surgical site, or any drainage.
Follow up care after your vasectomy reversal
Postoperative follow-up includes an evaluation of wound healing at least 10 days to 2 weeks after the surgery. Patients will also have a semen analysis after 6 to 8 weeks. Semen testing is performed every 4 to 6 months or until the semen analysis stabilizes.
Expense related to reversal procedure
A vasectomy reversal is an elective produce so is normally not covered under most insurance plans. The procedure, surgical center costs, additional office visits and semen analysis will be charged accordingly. The patient’s financial responsibility will be discussed with them prior to the procedure. These costs can include labs, hospital costs, x-rays, general anesthesia, and a pathology charge for tissue evaluation.
The next step
The most important part when preparing for a vasectomy reversal, is to discuss the procedure in length with a qualified urologist. Contact the Urology Austin office nearest you to schedule an appointment.
Watch Dr. Herb Singh’s interview on KVUE-TVs Spotlight ATX about vasectomy reversals – air date March 2022