Week 7 Update:
Before reading the whole thread below, I figured I’d just throw a quick update here for any new member reading this thread.
Tomorrow will be 7 weeks from the date of my operation.
I’m happy to say that I think I am finally headed in the right direction. I’m still not fully there, but the terrifying, depressing, awful feeling that I’ll never get better is becoming a distant worry, and the pain/discomfort is slowly fading.
Up through Week 5, I had very little improvement. I felt no better than I did the day after surgery. By the middle of week 5, I was able to wear boxer briefs again. Up until that point, I was so sensitive that I couldn’t even wear anything supportive, which likely exasperated the problem.
For the past week, I’ve moved from “pain most of the time” to “discomfort about half the time.”
I’ll keep posting updates here as I (hopefully) progress.
Below is the original post that I made when I was in a LOT of pain and in a very dark place emotionally:
I apologize if this post is too typical of a first post, but I really need to vent some worries.
- Had a vasectomy 10 days ago. Left side was painful during surgery, right side didn’t hurt.
- Wound healed up fine.
- Left testicle still hurts, right one doesn’t (feels almost fully recovered.)
- I’m starting to worry about long-term pain since one side has mostly recovered but the other feels almost as bad as day 1.
I had a no-scalpel procedure, cauterized, not sure about clips (I don’t remember him mentioning them either way.) The small wound has healed up nicely, no problems there. Just a tiny spot of a scab that fell off yesterday leaving a healed “wound” underneath.
I’m 10 days post-op and I’m wondering if it’s too early to start worrying that I’m another victim of the statistics. I have four close friends who had it done and they all said it was simple, easy, relatively painless, one of the best decisions they’ve ever made, and full recovery only took a few days to a week. But I’m starting to fear that it was the worst decision for me.
From everything I’ve read it seems like a week or two of a dull “kicked in the groin last week” feeling is normal. I know it’s too early to fret over that. What has me concerned is that my right side feels pretty much normal now, but the left side feels just as bad as it did the first day. If this was the normal expected pain, wouldn’t both sides feel equally bad? (or good)
My whole experience with the left side has been different than the right, going all the way back to the actual surgery.
It seemed like the doctor didn’t give any time at all for the local anesthetic to kick in. He went straight to work on the left side within a minute of giving me the shot.
I’m certain that it wasn’t numb enough because the pain was excruciating. I was gritting my teeth, groaning, and breaking out into a cold sweat. It felt like he had my left testicle in a vise for two or three minutes. I thought I was going to vomit. He kept reassuring me that I’m doing fine and that some people feel more pain than others. If I had any idea that the surgery would be this painful, I never would have done it.
Once he finished the left side, he went to work on the right which was almost painless except for a few uncomfortable tugs here and there. This was the “easy” experience I had expected. I was chatting with him during that part and when he finished he said I did great in spite of the initial whimpering and groaning.
I followed the post-op instructions pretty closely. Ice packs, lots of rest, supportive underwear, no alcohol, etc. Surgery was on Friday. I did a little bit of shuffling around in the house on Saturday and Sunday, but nothing that would qualify as strenuous. I mostly just rested all weekend.
I returned to work on Monday. It’s an office job, so I figured that it didn’t matter if I was sitting around at work, or sitting around at home. I hadn’t considered the discomfort of wearing jeans (not tight, but not gym shorts either) and my 1-hour commute each way. I also didn’t ice it at work.
That night felt a bit worse, so I took the following day off work. The rest of last week was a bit of a blur because all I could think about was the dull pain. When I’d wake up in the morning, I felt like I had memory loss (like a hangover, but without the headache.) Memories of the previous day were always foggy. I was taking Tylenol 3 with codeine, plus Celebrex. Perhaps that had something to do with it. Or possibly my repressive memory function was in high gear.
Over this past weekend I continued resting. The pain in the right side has almost completely subsided, which only seems to magnify the pain on the left and causes me concern. It seems like a good portion of the stories I read on here involve one specific side. I get moments of blissful relief when the pain fades away, but invariably it returns and I’m right back where I started.
There are two places where I may have screwed up:
- First, I don’t think I iced it enough. I used those blue ice packs instead of frozen peas. I don’t think they worked so well because they don’t really conform to your anatomy like peas do. I also didn’t really ice much at all after the 2nd day.
- The other place I may have screwed up is that I assumed I could walk around and go to work sooner than I should have.
When I feel/examine the area, the right side feels pretty normal with the exception of a small bump at the separation point. The left side has a bump too, but it’s larger and more sensitive to the touch. About the size of a pea, I’d guess… maybe a bit smaller. It doesn’t feel attached directly to the testicle… it’s about halfway between the testicle and the penis, presumably at the cauterized end of the vans. I guess it could be a sperm granuloma. It’s not large enough to worry me at this point, but it seems like it MAY be getting bigger (or it’s just my imagination running wild.)
Additionally (and this is where the worst pain is coming from) the underside of the left testicle feels like there is some sort of loose tube/vessel between the testicle and the scrotum. I’m not sure if it’s a blood vessel, the vans, a nerve, or something else, but when I touch it it’s very sensitive and somewhat painful (similar to the pain I felt during the surgery but not quite as strong.)
I feel like I’m starting to break down mentally. Before the surgery, I thought that after a week I’d be living my life as normal… doing things around the house, walking the dogs, going out to dinner with my wife. Instead, I just have to lie around like a lazy slob while she takes care of everything. I feel trapped in my house. My wife feels an incredible amount of guilt (to the point of crying), even though she didn’t pressure me into it and I reassure her that I do not blame her in any way. The same thoughts keep running through my head: “Will we ever be able to have sex again? Will I ever be able to walk normal again? Will I ever be able to ride my bike again?” We are relatively active, so I fear that I’ll fall into depression and that it will impact my marriage and my career. I’m 38 years old… I’m not ready to be a “sit at home all day” person. (“boo-hoo”, right? I know others have it far worse so I’m trying to keep perspective.)
Perhaps my expectations are just too high. The logical side of me knows that I just had surgery 10 days ago on one of the most pain-sensitive areas of the body. If you spend enough time looking up symptoms on the internet, you can convince yourself that you have stage 8 cancer and that you’re head will fall off in the next 2 hours. But on the emotional side, there are SOOOO many stories on here (and other places) that I wish I would have read before I made the decision. I went off the word of my friends who all said it was nothing… easier than a tooth extraction.
Sorry for my long, rambling post. Part of this is mental therapy for me… I need to vent my frustration and fears to people (strangers) who can be truly empathetic. I also think that the people on this site probably know more about the topic than most doctors since they have the most motivation to learn EVERYTHING there is to know about post-vasectomy pain.