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Post Vasectomy Pain Forum

Reversal with Dr. Marks tomorrow morning, 15 years post vasectomy


#1

Reading the stories here, I would say my pain levels are not as debilitating as many of my “brothers in pain” experience. However, the vasectomy 15 years ago has significantly impacted my life: Aching and pulling daily, ibuprofen helps take the edge off but I pay a more severe price with any activity beyond walking. At 46 years old I piss like an old man with weaker urine flow and dribble, dribble in my pants seemingly no matter how long I try to squeeze out the last drops. The daily pain wears me down, but the sexual side effects are what bother me the most. Orgasms are weak with no sense of release and they trigger a bout of achy pain which lasts a day or so.

14 years ago, when I was about one year post-vasectomy I had a non-helpful exam and consult with a local urologist (the guy who did my vasectomy was no longer practicing) . The urologist was rather dismissive, basically implied any pain and other issues were either in my head or not that bad and he warned a reversal would likely make things worse. He put me on an antidepressant and sent me on my way. At that point I resigned myself to my current state.

Fast forward to last year, after lurking on this forum for a long time reading some of the good outcomes I finally decided the risks of a reversal making things worse, as well as the significant expense, is worth the possibility of getting my life back.

So in October, 2018 I took the advice many gave here to call ICVR in Tucson. Before the consult their coordinator told me Dr Marks does not work on pain patients anymore. But he and I had a great conversation and he agreed to do my reversal. I think it helped that I am from Maine where he often enjoyed visits in summers past.

The thought of nerve stripping and other treatments of that kind are scary to me. And mentally, I just want to be made whole again. I know there is no guarantee with reversal, and it could make things worse, but I feel like I need to try. It seems Dr Marks is among the best, and offers a shot at a decent outcome.

Tomorrow morning, January 7th at 7:00 AM I go back under the knife to hopefully put myself back together. If I can get some reduction of pain and return to 80% pre-vas sexually I will consider the money well spent.

I will try to post regular updates as I recover because I found that helpful when reading other’s stories here. If my posts help nobody else, then at least it might help me process.


#2

Hi there I just want to wish you luck and hope that it all works for you.


#3

Thank you so much! I love the support in this group. Out of surgery and on my way back to hotel. Still loopy from the knock out drugs, but so far feeling amazing. No illusions that I probably feel great because of the numbing agents used during the surgery, one is long-acting. But I am very excited to see what things feel like once those wear off. Right now I feel like there is absolutely zero congestion anymore. Left side was vas-to-vas and right side was vas-to-epi. There were five frigging clips on the left with a bunch of nasty scarring. No wonder my left had been worse than my right.

I will continue to post updates as I can. Going to get some food now and then sleep.


#4

Hey that’s great to hear man! Tell dr. Marks at least one of his former patients is doing well and says hello. Just relax take it easy and follow your icing schedule. Protect that part of your body at all costs. Do not do any heavy lifting. Do not let anything heavy go near your groin. Do not let anything heavy be above your groin. Be very conscious of any sort of movement where you could bump your groin or lap against anything. Don’t do anything hardly at all for at least 2 weeks and don’t let anyone pressure you or guilt you about laying around alot icing watching TV Etc. This is your body it’s your life this is your chance to get better. Please keep us informed as to your progress.


#5

FIVE CLIPS on one side. FIVE CLIPS. F I V E C L I P S for one vas deferens. SMH. C’mon doctors!


#6

Great advice on protecting that area at all costs! I just gave myself a heart attack when I dropped my phone while laying in bed, it landed on the waistband on the jock strap. Now I know to be extremely diligent and ultra conscious about every move I make.

Regarding the reply above about five clips on one side… Yeah, blows my mind. Dr Marks cleaned up scar tissue around that area while he was in there.

So far there is still zero pain, ice is my friend. I am using the timer on my watch to strictly follow the 30 minutes on, 10 minutes off schedule.

At this time I feel like a huge weight has lifted. I swear it’s like I immediately recognized the congestion dissappeared. I guess I do not care if that is all in my head because it is what I am experiencing. And to be pain free is amazing, even if for only a day due to the numbing agent. I fully understand I likely have a long road ahead after this initial euphoria wanes, so I am being realistic. But so far I couldn’t be happier right now.

I will add that the entire experience at ICVR was excellent. Wonderful staff, especially Dr Marks!


#7

Things are still great this morning having gone all night without ice. Very, very little swelling, no bruising. Discomfort is maybe 1 out of 10. Dr Marks came to our hotel for his house call check-up and said everything looks remarkably better than expected. He pointed out I already have wrinkles appearing on my sac which is evidence swelling is minimal. Tomorrow will be a test because it takes all day to travel back to Maine from Arizona. We arranged a wheelchair with the airline so I should have minimal walking.

I have changed my mindset to not worry about or expect pain. Instead enjoy the moment while everything is great, but also expect there likely will be some bumps in my road to recovery since I am only one day post-op. I will take those as they come. Today I can say ALL of the old pains and congestion feeling have disappeared. I also had strong morning wood, which had been infrequent; not sure if there is a correlation with the reversal but I’ll take it.


#8

hi there just wondering how you are feeling? I hope it’s all okay.


#9

So far, so good. Thank you for asking. Repeating myself from earlier in this thread, the support and concern of my brothers here is amazing!

Landed in Phoenix a few minutes ago, first layover is 3 hours. Gives us lots of time to grab some food and fresh ice. Discomfort is about 1 out of 10, very thankful for that. I think the prednisone combined with ice is helping a lot, haven’t even taken any Tylenol so far since the surgery. Dr. Marks is top notch, I think he is extremely careful. I assumed I would have more pain given the more invasive vas-to-epi on right side. That side is more tender, but mainly only when moving around.

Next flight is to Philly, PA, four hour flight. That will be followed by another long layover in Philly before last flight to Portland, ME.

We decided the significant extra $ for first class on the way home would be worth it. We debated it thoroughly when we purchased the tickets, very glad we spent that money. So much more width to spread the legs to accommodate the ice packs.

So far I have been able to retain a good mindset, trying not to think about pain at all.


#10

So I wanted to report that I just urinated and the flow was noticeably stronger than pre-reversal. I am surprised that things have loosened up after only two days, but holy-moly I sure noticed it when I let loose. Really, really happy with my progress overall.


#11

This is great to hear and very promising news. I hope for your steady and speedy recovery you deserve it… may I ask why you have one side vas to vas and other vas to epi. Was your painful side the vas to epi?


#12

Thank you @NC79. Paraphrasing the surgical report, right side epi was blown out somewhere above the vas. Fluid was pasty and white even after irrigation, no sperm present. He removed that nut from the sac and opened a spot higher up on the epi which produced favorable sperm. On the other hand, the left side produced sperm from vas after removing clips and scarring. One would indeed assume my right was worse than left before reversal given the blowout. In my case both sides were painful before reversal, but the left far worse than the right. I imagine that was due to the nasty blob of scarring which my body wrapped around the mass of five clips. Last year my regular MD examined me and said that blob was probably a granuloma, now I know it was the damn clump of excessive clips.

Status update today: Feeling pretty good laying flat, only occasional twinges. Getting up and moving around definitely triggers the most discomfort I’ve had since reversal. Undoubtedly, the full day of traveling yesterday aggravated things. I ended up needing Tylenol later in the day, and took some more before bed at midnight when we arrived home. I will say any discomfort I have had since reversal is different from the vasectomy pain so I am encouraged. Fifteen years is a long time living with those issues so I know I need to give my body time to adjust to this new situation. Fifteen years also means my brain will tend to be “hardwired” to those old nerve pathways and pain expectations. So after I am through the reversal healing process I am determined to retain a positive outlook and avoid thinking about it at all. I already feel immensely better mentally now that I am finally put back together again. I also believe I am much better physically than I was before reversal, even taking the mind-body connection and attitude out of the equation. Pressure is gone, old pains are gone, the feeling that something foreign was in the left side is gone. So now I mentally tell myself those old days of PVPS are also gone, and behind me.

I cannot describe how it felt after waking up from the surgery with all of the old pressure and pain removed. I cried like a baby from the joy. My wife said I broke down crying three times. Even now my eyes are welling up from the relief that the worst days are behind me. I have no illusions about what the future could bring, I’ve read many of the sad experiences of others here post-reversal. But there are plenty of others who have improved, even if not to 100%, given enough time. So I will focus on the positive, and eagerly look forward to my first post-reversal orgasm on Jan 20th. My wife said she will make it a special night.

I will continue to post updates of my progress, not too hard to do since I am following orders and staying inactive with heavy icing.


#13

I had a similar experience at about 1 month post reversal when I woke up with morning wood and a situation that would normally lead to excruciating burning pain and the burning pain was not there. I cried to my wife I was so relieved and happy. Marks seems to have a good record of knowing what to do while he’s in there reconnecting guys. My pain was mostly neuropathic/burning pain. Probably from cautery or some sort of nerve entrapment/impingement. I had a epi blowup about 2 years prior and on that side I had to have a lot of vas resected to get to sperm. I think the longer you wait the more likely you are to have that thickening fluid and blockages in the uppermost part of the vas above the epi.

Keep things in perspective and manage your expectations. Things take a while to settle down after reversal. That you had immediate noticeable relief (I did too) is a good sign.


#14

@MikeO, sound advice on managing expectations. And thank you for the encouragement. I agree things bode well given my results so far. I am sure I will have some backsliding in the coming months, but I am determined to face that with a positive attitude. I feel like for years I’ve been wading in muck in a dark cave with no light at the end of the tunnel. The positive changes I am experiencing have sparked hope.

I feel so badly for guys in much worse shape than me, those who are deeply struggling and in despair. It astounds me how willfully ignorant (almost maliciously?) the medical community is about the potentially devastating impacts of vasectomy. It is also confusing to me how most men report zero issues with vasectomy, including my father-in-law, brother and my manager at work. How is it some men can end up devastated with their life forever altered, but many others report no problems? Regardless, it seems the occurrence of problems is much higher and significantly more impacful than conveyed by the medical community, certainly here in the USA.


#15

Hi again, I am following your progress with interest mate, as I see that you where 15 years post vasectomy, before your reversal, the interest is that I was 26 years post vas before my reversal. I do realize that not everyone has success, in fact reading through some of the scripts on here to some it is no benefit at all. For me so far it is a success as I have no pain or discomfort, and have sperm flowing again, which honestly makes me feel better, I can only hope that you have the same success, so best of luck for your future,


#16

I think if I had a midline vasectomy as opposed to bilateral I may have been fine. I’ll never know though. I only confided in one guy at my old work outside of a couple managers I had to tell (which was embarrassing and I hated having to do, they were like “wtf!?”). Turns out he lost all interest in sex after his and slept in a different bedroom than his wife. He said it didn’t feel good anymore. This was a well respected no nonsense management consultant. Not the neurotic type or one to whine at all. I couldn’t believe it.


#17

@Francis, I closely followed your posts as well, it gave me hope reading someone else’s success after a long time post vasectomy. I had already decided I was going to move forward with reversal despite many of the difficulties I saw others having. So it was great hear your story.

It has been four days since reversal and overall I remain positive. Very little pain if I am laying horizontal, I am following the heavy ice regimen. Even first thing in the morning after I woke up having not iced all night there was little pain until I stood up. When I get up to use the bathroom or just move about a little then I get shooting pain and a kicked in the balls feeling. Definitely more discomfort today than yesterday when I am upright. So I plan to remain horizontal most of the day today and into the weekend. There is only a small amount of bruising at the top of the right nut, the side where he removed it from the sack for vas-to-epi. The incision looks good, Dr said it will probably open up and get oozy later as the sutures dissolve and my body expels them.

I am fortunate that my family is super supportive and helping me so that I can remain inactive. That’s been a struggle for me because it is cold and snowy here with plenty of crap to do around the house like keeping the pellet stove full, keeping the wood stove going, snow removal, etc. But they are managing and I keep telling myself I need to do nothing which could impact my recovery and success. With this ramp up on discomfort unless laying down I expect I will take another week before returning to work. I have an hour drive each way to and from the office so I think I will end up telecommuting the week after next when I finally resume working. I am fortunate telecommuting is a short-term option for me.

At this point I am very happy with my reversal. Periodically through the day I realize my left side no longer has that jabbing/aching nor the feeling like there’s something foreign in my body. I still find myself surprised since I had it for so long. I keep thinking it’s no wonder that was so severe given the gob of junk and clips that he pulled out of my body. And I also still find myself surprised when I realize I no longer have that congestion feeling anymore. It makes me think that given enough time those old issues will become a distant memory.


#18

6 days since the reversal. About the same as yesterday. Minimal discomfort when on my back. Aching and pulling when I stand up. Moderate discomfort when sitting up. So far, so good. About what I expected, and less severe than initial recovery from the vasectomy. I was pretty much dibilitated for two weeks after vasectomy, followed by PVPS and other issues.