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Vasectomy Reversal - looking for advice


#1

This is my first post but I have been reading the comments on here for several months. I’d like to share my experience and get some thoughts/advice from the group. I’m at a breaking point and not sure where to turn.

On September 27, 2017 - I got a vasectomy. Within a week, I was having major complications on my left side. Throbbing pain. Swelling. I couldn’t sleep. I walked with a very noticeable limp. It impacted my job. My relationship with my wife. I haven’t been able to workout or do any of the hobbies that I love (golf, fly fishing, etc.). After 6+ months of pain and multiple doctors…I finally made it to a “specialist” that came highly recommended. After a few consultations/examinations - he determined that I needed a reversal. My epididymis was consistently swelling up and after trying multiple options (hot baths, more sex, less sex, ice, heating pad, stretching, pain pills, etc.) - it wasn’t getting any better.

5 weeks ago, I had the reversal. After getting through the surgery pain (swelling, bruising, abdominal pain), I realized that nothing had improved. I’m still having debilitating pain on my left side…testicle is rock hard and it feels like fluid is still forming. I am so discouraged. It feels like my life has been ripped from me. It takes everything I have to make it out of bed to go to work and I can barely function as part of my family.

For those that have had a reversal - do I have any hope of this turning around? I thought for sure when I hooked the pipes back up and got everything flowing again that my system and body would make its way back to 8 months ago, before I ever had the original vasectomy.

I’m now wondering if I’ll press the doctor to remove my left testicle.

Any thoughts would be appreciated…and thanks to everyone that has taken the time to share their very personal struggles, opinions and suggestions. I can’t believe how many of us are silently suffering. I thought I was one of the only ones until I found this forum.


#2

Can you describe your pain, is it only testicle pain? do you also have groin pain? Is the pain unilateral or bilateral? Does pain shoot into your leg or abdomen? Is your pain constant or does it go up and down? Is your pain changing? Have you had any decent days since your reversal? Improvement from reversal can take 6 to 12+ months. I had a rough recovery from my reversal, I am approaching 14 months post-reversal and am only really seeing the benefits now. Hang in there.


#3

Thanks for the response crotalus97.

It is testicular pain and it’s only on my left side…but it is debilitating at certain points. I can’t walk without a severe limp and sitting for any extended period is brutal.

My pain seems to increase after I ejaculate. Post vasectomy reversal, I waited 3 weeks to have sex. Since that time, I’ve been having sex every other day to keep fluid moving through the vas.

I’ve had a few “decent” days but for the most part, I haven’t seen any type of noticeable difference since I’ve had the reversal.

Within 4 - 12 hours after ejaculating, the pressure builds back up and my left testicle seems to swell…forms a hard cone shape. Almost as if there is blockage on the left side again.

I appreciate you sharing that it’s taken you several months to see the benefits. I’m starting to panic…wondering if I made a mistake. But I just couldn’t sit around 6 months after my original vasectomy and not do anything about it. So after a lot of research and meeting with multiple doctors, I found a specialist that highly recommended a reversal.

I’ll continue to hang on and hope for the best. What meds have you taken over time? Did you ever try Papaya Seed supplements? I’m willing to try anything. Ibuprofen isn’t touching it anymore and I don’t want to get hooked on oxycodone.


#4

My pain is a little different than yours, I only have/had groin pain. For me my first two months after reversal were brutal. I had pains I never had before. What triggered my severe pain post reversal was ejaculation so I refrained for a good three months although that may not have been the best. But If refraining helps you just do whatever you need to do to reduce pain. There are different theories on what causes the pain and no one knows for sure. The pain you are having could be more nerve pain, it may not be just congestion.

Try a bunch of conservative things. Your goal right now is to just manage.
I don;t know if you are supposed to give papaya a try now that you had the reversal.

Here’s what I have tried.
Ice has been my saving grace. I even worked out a system so I can wear ice packs through the day at work if I need to and keep it concealed from my colleagues. Do what you have to do. give it time I’d say.
You can also go on head meds to help cope, reversal recovery was brutal for me. I eventually caved and went on cymbalta, glad I did as it also acts as a pain med too.
Do all the vitamins like B, C and D.
Tumeric and ginger, st johns wort and alpha lipoic acid… there are a bunch of suppliments out there to reduce inflammation.
If ibuprofen dont work Mobic is much stronger NSAID. Go on that for 1 month. Go to pain management guy, but try not to get any blocks for at least 6 months or 1 year if you can bare it. See what kind of topicals you can get like diclofenac sodium 1% or maybe you can get 3% diclofenac sodium w/ DMSO topical.

In the end testicular removal is an option and since it’s only the left you won’t have to worry about testosterone loss. There are options so stay positive!


#5

Thank you for all of the feedback. I’m going to try your conservative suggestions before I take any additional steps.


#6

I did not have a reversal, so I can’t speak to that. However, in the interest of offering a different point of view: If you’ve already done several months of anti-inflammatories and have noticeable swelling and signs of epididymitis then get rid of that testicle. You’re running the risk of introducing more nerve damage. Personally, I had epididymitis early on - but no doctor I spoke to would even consider a surgical operation until at least a year after the vasectomy. In the meanwhile my nerve pain got worse - all on the left side where I had epididymitis. Similar to your situation, no amount of anti-inflammatories made a difference. The human body will react and compensate for inflammation in ways that are not always beneficial. I had a left orchiectomy over a year ago. The relief from THAT pain was nearly instant. Even after the surgery while I was still recovering it felt much better. However, the nerve pain never subsided. I am convinced it was exacerbated by the long wait, at least one doctor has agreed this is a possibility (I haven’t been back to any of the others). But it’s uncharted territory - so maybe he just wanted to make me feel better…

I doubt any reasonable doctor will do anything just 5 weeks after a reversal - but I would start laying the groundwork now while you experiment with non-surgical alternatives. I am not trying to be a nay-sayer to natural treatments - but a vasectomy and subsequent reversal have already transcended the realm of “natural.” I think it’s might be more natural to get rid of the bad body part and let your body start to re-normalize itself.

Opiates are a terrible long-term solution but don’t count them out as a last-ditch effort to “fake” normal for a little while. I survived three months of pure hell on opiates - had water-balloon fights with my kids, made it to work at least a few days a week, and slept for 4-5 hours at a time. No one could argue it was a bad thing at the time, it actually helped pull me out of the all-time emotional slump I was in. I’m not saying quitting was a walk in the park, but the good they did me outweighed the week or so of irritability. I am an ex-smoker so I sort of “cheated” and chewed nicotine gum for a month or so after.

If you are completely against oxycodone, you could also give gabapentin a try. It’s not an opiate and doesn’t have the same psychoactive properties. However, it really helped me with nerve pain (where anti-inflammatories will do you no good). Again, it’s not an ideal long-term solution but you sound like you need some serious relief for a little while. If pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories aren’t working for you then I would not expect natural alternatives to somehow magically change that. However, you have very little to risk in trying them.

Like croaltus97, I eventually ended up on an anti-depressant (Mirtazapine). I admit I feel the same way, that I sort of “caved” or “succumb” - but I realized my children were growing up with a lousy dad. That alone led to more depression, it’s a vicious cycle. So yeah, I don’t advertise that I’m on anti-depressants (assholes will judge you for it) but there is no shame in taking something to try and re-stabilize yourself. If you have to take them forever to cope with chronic pain - so be it.

I hope this helps. I am not trying to contradict other advice here or undermine the benefits of the suggestions, just offer some of what I did. It’s a painful road, do everything you can to fight the depression and hopeless feelings, they just compound.


#7

Esjay’s advice sounds good. I can only share with you want I have experienced and what has and hasn’t worked for me. My pain however is in a different spot. This forum is a good source of info so use the search key at the top right and look for topics that are relevant to you. Best of luck man!


#8

I know everyone is different. But right after I woke up from being put under for my reversal I had 99 pains down there but I could tell the pressure/congestive pain was NOT one of them anymore.

Curious what did the reversal surgeon say? How did the procedure go in his opinion? How much sperm was found when the vas was cut back open (assuming you didn’t have an open ended vas)? Have you had any SA (Semen Analysis) after the reversal to monitor flow/sperm health/patency/etc?

I think a SA could tell you a lot at this point. If you have no sperm showing up = reversal was not successful or failed = could explain why you are still in pain. if you have sperm in the SA are they ‘healthy/high motile/etc’? If yes then maybe your issue is more than congestion. If no then maybe you still have a restriction someplace.

Just some thoughts. Man my heart goes out to you … sigh. Good luck and hang in there the best you can!


#9

Hang in there. You are not alone. I have been through the anguish too. I also had a reversal and I almost immediately knew it wasn’t the answer.
I was then very aggressive and had denervation cryoablation series of blocks countless meds Botox and I was looking in to testical removal. I had the denervation 4 months after the reversal.
Then 10 months post reversal I improved and am 100% now.
Dr P in Florida stuck with me the whole time. He did not do the reversal though.
Hang in there and keep trying


#10

So happy for you that you’re back to 100% now. I’ll keep trying…just so hard to figure out what next steps are when I’m 0 for 2 with the vasectomy and now vasectomy reversal. I don’t trust anything. Going to sit tight for a while and see if things settle. Thanks for the encouragement.


#11

I just went in for a check up yesterday. Reversal surgeon said that I was in severe pain for 7 months after my vasectomy…so it’s going to take a while to heal from the reversal. It’s been 5 weeks since my surgery and he’s telling me to give it another 6 - 8 weeks before I panic. I’m getting an SA in a few weeks.

Appreciate the thoughts…such a brutal experience to feel like your body is completely falling apart.


#12

5 weeks is very early for reversal…its a far more serious procedure than the original vas. Heck i’m like 8 months out from mine and am still far from “healed” even just talking about the incision scar.


#13

Hello Esjay, have you noticed any drop in testosterone after orchiectomy?


#14

I have not been tested, but for the most part I haven’t had really bad symptoms. However, as a coincidence, I just had a test recommended so I will post back here with my results.


#15

I’ve ordered an online testing kit, waiting for the results now. I think I’m down on testosterone a lot, all symptoms are here


#16

Hi Crotalus, how long post vas are you? Have you improved overall compared to pre reversal?


#17

Hi @Esjay,

Has your right testicle changed since I/O? I’ve noticed that mine grew in size and it is very sensitive now.


#18

I am 14 months post-reversal and can finally say with some degree of confidence that I am better now than pre-reversal. I will tell you it was a terrible, terrible roller-coaster ride to get here though.


#20

Thank you for your message Crotalus. Feels me with confidence and degree of hope to carry on with this nightmare. I’m thinking about reversal, but have ony 1 testicle left, so am very precious of it. Yes, been through a massive rollercoaster myself too, can see that have gone grey in the past few year as a result. How long ago have you had your vasectomy? Did it take you long to heal up?


#21

You can read my profile,
After vasectomy my recovery was normal and fine for the first 3 weeks. Then pain suddenly got worse and this was when I went on internet and discovered PVPS. I went on naproxen and improved over the next five weeks thinking that I had dodged the PVPS bullet. . Months 2 to 5 post-vas I was loving life and everything was fine. During this time I would have an occasional painless sensation during sex (which I did not mind). After 5 months is when my PVPS problems began.