Vasectomy reversal is a surgery to reverse a vasectomy. Your doctor reconnected the tubes that were cut during a vasectomy.
After surgery, you may have some pain in your groin for 1 to 3 weeks. Your scrotum and groin may be bruised and swollen. This will go away in 1 to 2 weeks.
You will probably be able to return to work or your normal routine in 1 week. How long it takes depends on your job. If your job involves physical labor or lifting, it may take 2 weeks or more before you can go back to work.
You may need to wear snug underwear or compression shorts for 1 week, or as your doctor instructs you.
A reversal is most likely to work if it's done in the first 3 years after a vasectomy. Sometimes a reversal doesn't work. The vas deferens is a very narrow tube. It may become permanently blocked.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
How can you care for yourself at home?
- Lie down as much as you can for the first 24 hours. Rest when you feel tired. Getting enough sleep will help you recover.
- After the first day, try to walk each day. Start by walking a little more than you did the day before. Bit by bit, increase the amount you walk. Walking boosts blood flow and helps prevent pneumonia and constipation.
- Avoid strenuous activities, such as bicycle riding, jogging, weight lifting, or aerobic exercise, for about 4 weeks after the surgery or until your doctor says it is okay.
- Avoid lifting anything that would make you strain. This may include a child, heavy grocery bags and milk containers, a heavy briefcase or backpack, cat litter or dog food bags, or a vacuum cleaner.
- Ask your doctor when you can drive again.
- Most men are able to return to work 1 week after surgery. This depends on the type of work you do and how you feel. It may take longer.
- You may shower unless your doctor tells you not to. Pat the cut (incision) dry. Do not take a bath for about 5 days.
- Ask your doctor when it is okay for you to have sex.
- You can eat your normal diet. If your stomach is upset, try bland, low-fat foods like plain rice, broiled chicken, toast, and yogurt.
- Drink plenty of fluids (unless your doctor tells you not to).
- Your doctor will tell you if and when you can restart your medicines. He or she will also give you instructions about taking any new medicines.
- If you stopped taking aspirin or some other blood thinner, your doctor will tell you when to start taking it again.
- Be safe with medicines. Take pain medicines exactly as directed.
- If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
- If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine.
- If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.
- If you think your pain medicine is making you sick to your stomach:
- Take your medicine after meals (unless your doctor has told you not to).
- Ask your doctor for a different pain medicine.
- A small amount of thin, clear, pinkish fluid may drain from the incision. This will last for about 12 hours after the surgery.
- Gently wash the incision with warm, soapy water and pat it dry, unless your doctor gives you other instructions.
- If you have strips of tape on the incision, leave the tape on for a week or until it falls off.
- To help with pain, put ice or a cold pack against your scrotum for 10 to 20 minutes at a time, every 4 to 6 hours. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
When should you call for help?
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
- You passed out (lost consciousness).
- You have chest pain, are short of breath, or cough up blood.
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:
- You have pain that does not get better after you take pain medicine.
- Your have loose stitches or your incision comes open.
- Bright red blood soaks through the bandage.
- You have signs of infection, such as:
- Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness.
- Red streaks leading from the area.
- Pus draining from the area.
- A fever.
- You cannot urinate.
- You have symptoms of a urinary tract infection. These may include:
- Pain or burning when you urinate.
- A frequent need to urinate without being able to pass much urine.
- Pain in the flank, which is just below the rib cage and above the waist on either side of the back.
- Blood in your urine.
- A fever.
- You are sick to your stomach or cannot drink fluids.
- You have signs of a blood clot in your leg (called a deep vein thrombosis), such as:
- Pain in your calf, back of the knee, thigh, or groin.
- Redness or swelling in your leg.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any problems.
Where can you learn more?
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