This is my story from start to finish copied from the old yahoo PVPS message boards. Here is a table of contents view of everything in this post:
**1. first post here which includes the history of my vasectomy and
2. decided to have a reversal with Dr. Marks. Also includes posts about
first few weeks recovery after the reversal
3. a informal theory poll to see if there was any connection between
getting healthier, increased sperm production, leading to PVPS
congestive pain. Turned out there were a few members who
experienced just that.
4. questions about amount of sperm found during reversal procedure
5. 2 months post reversal update
6. 11 weeks/3 months post reversal update
7. 4 month post reversal update
8. 5 month post reversal update
9. 6 and 7 month post reversal update**
I wanted to preserve this from the old site since it was stories like this that I found most helpful (all info from start to finish) in helping me figure out the best course of action. At the time of reposting this I am now almost 2.5 years post reversal and I would say I am 99% pain free [BIG knock on wood]. The biggest things I contribute to my success are going to a very skilled/specialized surgeon for my reversal and getting/staying healthy to keep my inflammation minimized as much as possible.
I have been researching about PVPS every since I have had my vasectomy (9 months ago) but I have to say that I don't have the amount of pain as most of the stories I am seeing on here. The sad part though is that it is enough mild discomfort/pain that I cannot ever get more than a day without thinking about it. I have researched so much on the web that all the material I come across now (including this sites VERY nice collection of data in the files section) I am starting to recognize as having already read through. I spend quite a bit of times on other types of forums and try to do as much research before asking questions.
Let me start off by saying that I am the very stereotypical case for getting a vasectomy - 35 year old with 2 kids (2 and 4 years old) and definitely ready to NOT have any more kids. Between having that feeling and knowing a half dozen friends and co-workers who have had a vasectomy with no ill results I decided to get one with no indication from my vas doc of any potential for long term pain.
The vasectomy procedure itself was pretty uneventful and the most pain were the small twinges of pain of getting the locals. Things were generally soar and I only had a small 2-3" x 1" bruise on my right side. After a few days though it was a bit painful to get up from sitting since I discovered a small pea-sized hemotoma on my right side at the site of the vas def severing. Doc said it would take a few months (6-9) to heal and have the scar reduce away. I was about 1 week out at this point and having a nice hot soak bath every night helped but I pretty much plateaued for the next 2 weeks in pain and the size of the hemotoma. I also had some dull aching pain that generally got worse thoughout the day that was best described as 'drawing' pains like I could feel the vas defs being pulled/strained through my lower abdomen.
From here I need to add an, IMHO, important bit of information. It was around this same time that I also decided to get healthier by eating better and getting some exercise. At this point though I didn't really look unhealthy as I was 6'3" and about 180lbs. But my cholesterol had been creeping up to 250 over the past 4 years of no/little exercise and eating out almost 15 meals a week. So I started off by juicing and I am not talking about the 'Jack Lalaine' type of juicing with some apples but 90% pure vegetable juices with everything from carrots, beats, wheatgrass, spinach, garlic, ginger, and about 6-7 other ingredients. I started drinking about 2 pints a day.
Now at this point I have to admit it could be a complete coincidence but the DAY I started drinking the juice 99% of the pains I described above pretty much stopped. And within 6 weeks my hemotoma went down to the size of a grain of sand or less and has stayed that way every since. I also made drastic diet changes of not eating out anymore - well 2-3 times a week and started preparing all of my own meals that were far healthier in general. I also started walking 30 minutes every day as fast/hard as I could. In the span of 3-4 months I had lowered my cholesterol from 250 -> 175 and I felt better than I had since college! Things
So to sum up the timeline so far:
- vas in november of 2010
- dull ache worse through the day and hemotoma from november - december of 2010
- juicing/diet change/walking in mid december 2010
- by march of 2011 feeling absolutely great!
Around late May I started to notice some pressure discomfort (wouldn't call it pain per say) that would form in my testicle area after sex. At first I noticed it when i was on vacation and away from my diet/juicing regiment and attributed
it to that. But since June it has gotten more noticeable regardless of what I eat/drink etc. As recently as 1 month ago the feeling went from discomfort (that would last 2-3 days after sex) to occasional dull pain spikes that seemed to occur mostly within 24 hours of sex when i would get cold and everything down there would 'tighten up' more. At this point I would say the discomfort/pain for the 2-3 days after sex was in the 1-3 / 10 range. And the occasional spikes would get up to the 6-7 range.
It was around June/July that I also started to notice and pay attention to the pain more that the epididymis would go from mostly deflated (before sex) to very inflated (and larger, I think, then before vas) after sex (and it only takes like 30-60 minutes after sex to observe the change). From then on the dull pressure pain ensues for 2-4 days. I went to my doctor about 24 hours after sex last week (general MD who did my vas and has done them for the past 25 years) and he did diagnosed me with epididymitis (congestion/inflamation of the epididymis) and said that I was honestly the first person he had ever seen with this issue in all his years of performing vasectomies [yay - I am 'lucky' heh sigh]. He recommended me to a local urologist and I have an appt there in about 1 week.
My current frame of mind is this. In the last 9 months of doing research into PSVP I have felt the following:
- VERY VERY VERY VERY bad regret for not doing just >< more research into a vas before having one - still have regret to this day ... a lot.
- along the way of looking how to fix this (mostly leaning towards reversal) I have come across so much information about the scary side affects that just adds to my regret and reinforces my desire for a reversal.
- the pain honestly is probably liveable but it's just a constant reminder of my last point (all the unknown and possible health issues related to getting a vas. Things like the book 'If it's not broken' etc.)
- I have reviewed all of the options I could find from nerve blocks (temporary), to denerving and epididimeology (removal of epididymis) but I REALLY REALLY don't want to do any more harm to my body. Which as far as I can find leaves me with reversal.
Looking into the reversal I found the following 3 clinics in the western half of
the US that seem to have the best track record:
- www infertile com/
At this point I am leaning towards Dr Mark due to very good reviews from mostly this site and I have family in Phoenix which I could stay with for the first 2-3 days post-op as well.
At this point my main questions/concerns are as follow and I really hope the good people here could help me with them:
- What are the rates of needing to do a vas-to-vas versus vas-to-epididymis tube connection? I have read that time since vas used to be an indicator but with the more recent no-scalpel method that almost eliminates the chance of pressure
relief via a sperm granuloma potential forming that the chances of blowout/scaring/blockage (IE: vas-to-vas not being successful) are greater today starting as early as 6 months out. I just really don't like my odds with the more complex non vas-to-vas procedure.
- which leads me to my second concern that I can't seem to find information on which is if they can't do a vas-to-vas reversal and they have to connect the vas (Again from reading ideally as low to the epididymis which means as low on yoru testicle as possible) to the epididymis does that raise your testicle up? if so wouldn't that put all the pressure of supporting the testicle on the vas and the delicate connection?
- I have found VERY little statistics on the chance of reblocking occuring even after a successful vas reversal. The one stat that I found seemed to be a 1 in 7 chance of reblocking occuring. Does anyone have any further data on that?
- is there more, less, or the same chance of further damage to say nerves and such in a vas reversal compared to a vas? It seems like no other than the fact the doc is working in that area for quite a bit longer but I am only considering what some of you call 'super docs'.
Anyway I apologize for the long winded first post but I hope it is somewhat evident that I have done some homework and am trying to figure out how to fix this as quickly and most importantly as best I can. The other option I am also trying to weigh is whether to just try and live with the pain versus doing another operation and potentially having a worse outcome. I just don't know at this point. I am trying to do as much research now and not make a decision for a few more weeks. I am just really at a point in which I feel that I need to start talking with people who have experience with this since I doubt the urologist will be of much help. Even my docs first bit of advice was to try antibiotics which I told him didn't seem to work most of the time AND given the fact I eat about 1-4 raw garlic cloves every day along with about 1" of ginger root both of which have very high anti-biotic effects I didn't think it was an infection. Also given that the epididymis flares/enlarges directly with ejaculation and is
Thank you all for reading and listening.