Post Vasectomy Pain Forum

Dr. cut wrong vessel before finding correct one. Resulted in grape-sized mass of scar tissue and ongoing discomfort

Hello, new here and wish I would have found this website before getting a no-scalpel vasectomy.

My health background: very healthy, daily active, and fit. I’ve never had any health issues. Just turned 33 years old.

I’m 1-month post op. During the surgery, doctor performed the right side of scrotum with ease. However, on the left side the doctor pulled and cut the wrong vessel. After cauterizing it and putting “several” titanium clips on the mistake, he dug around for the vas which he found, cut, cauterized, and clipped. This means I have at least 5 titanium clips on the left side and 2 clips on the right.

He said he did not realize it was not the vas until he cut it and it did not have “lumen” characteristics of the vas (meaning the hollow space within the vessel did not look like he expected). Do other vessels within the spermatic cord really look so much like the vas that the doctor would not know it was not the vas until cutting it?

On the 4th day after the procedure, the overall swelling of my scrotum had gone down except for one area which was near the top third of my left scrotum. I felt the area and was surprised to feel a lump. By feel, it was approximately the size of a large grape, 2-3cm in diameter and 4-5cm long. It was very firm near the top and became softer as it resolved toward the bundle of vessels going into my left testicle. I messaged the doctor that performed my vasectomy right away and he told me that he was not worried and he thought it was probably a hematoma, even though my skin did not look bruised. It was not painful unless I was touching it or if I was walking or sitting in the same position for about 30 minutes. His advice was to just keep waiting and monitoring.

I got an ultrasound around the 2-wk post op mark. The summary of the findings were:

  1. Solid mass (not a hematoma but more likely scar tissue) of 14x14x11mm found on left side. No mass found on the right.
  2. Vessels on left side engorged, measuring 3mm. They can also be seen easily through my scrotum’s skin. This is considered a varicocele grade 2/3.
  3. My actual testicles looked healthy.

When I reviewed the results with the doctor who performed the vasectomy, he said:

  1. Cause of lump may be specifically due to the additional work he did on the left side.
  2. The first (incorrect) cord he cut on the left side was either connective structure or a bundle of little veins and that he expected no negative side effects from it.
  3. He called the mass a granuloma or the extra tissue he cut during the vasectomy coming together.
  4. He wants me to monitor the lump for the next 1 to 3 months to see if it decreases in size. He also said that 14mm is big and it may be too tangled up with other structures within the spermatic cord to be fully removed.
  5. I asked him if the lump, since it’s in the spermatic cord, would be causing pressure on the other structures and he said not to worry about it because the cord sleeve is more like a “stocking” in that it should stretch and prevent too much pressure on the other structures inside the cord.
  6. As for the varicocele, he said that during my consultation which was the day before my surgery, he did not feel symptoms of varicocele (the engorged vessels). He said that I just need to monitor it over time.

As I noted, I’m now 1-month post op. I haven’t noticed any change in the lump. The vessels beneath the lump are still fat. By feel, I’d say they’re about 50% fatter than the right side. The part of the spermatic cord beneath the lump that goes into my left testicle feel nothing like the right side. It feels more like a semi-firm cord, like a muscle that’s not being flexed.

I still feel a dull ache on the left side. When I sit down without carefully positioning myself so that no pressure is put on the left scrotum, I feel a sharper pain. This is with and without non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), although it does seem to be less uncomfortable when I take something.

Has anyone else experienced this and how did it turn out for you? Any advice on what to do next?

Thank you

We had a guy go through something similar. I don’t remember how it turned out exactly. The doctor cut a vein or artery by mistake. Maybe someone else can remember the handle of that user.

Welcome to the forum and thanks for sharing your story @Kel.

Like Mike previously said, you are not the only person on this site with a story like yours. To refresh my memory, I used the search bar on this site and found numerous stories where the vasectomist cut a vein instead of the vas.

One of the earlier testimonials stopped posting updates. In one of his final posts, he said he was taking his vasectomist to court. I never heard any more about his perticular outcome beyond that point. I didn’t find his story with the search bar, but I didn’t spend way to much time looking for his story. I’m sure it’s on here unless another moderator deleted his content at his request and I am simply not aware of it. IDK (shrug)

I appreciate you sharing @Kel because your story has many similarities to my own story (and others). Stories like yours give me and others some potential insight as to what may have happened during our vasectomys.

I won’t write up a long post as to what happened to me during my vasectomy, but like you, my right side was a breeze. My left side, was a shit show and he played it off like nothing out of the ordinary happened. If my vasectomist cut a vein, or cut into part of my pre-existing left varicocele structure, he never told me anything about it. I do suspect something along those lines did happen, but it’s hard to say anything for absolute certain (no proof).

I sort’v want to pick the things your vasectomist told you apart, but that would turn into a very long write up. Bottom line - it sounds like he/she is a bit clueless and/or dismissive about several aspects and has passed the ball of uncertainty back into your court (gee thanks doc).

By his/her own admission, he/she made a mistake/s during your procedure. I’m surprised he/she told you that much. In the other hand I am not surprised because he/she is likely already aware that you stand little to no chance of winning a law suit against him/her. The legal aspect is another topic of it’s own.

Not really. It’s probably best to follow the advice you have already been given. It didn’t sound unorthodox to me. It might be a good idea to get a second opinion if you think that might be a good idea. That’s totally your call.

Based on other members testimonials that have experienced a vein being cut and cauterized, a mistake, etc, it’s hard to say what time and purely concervative options alone will do for you.

Given where you are at in your post vasectomy timeline (very early), my guess would be that you will make progress over time, but that’s just a guess that isn’t based on a whole lot of related or relevant concrete data. There might be a ~4-6 stories on this site like yours. Story’s where members have conclusive proof that something was cut that should not have been (like a vein specifically).

Anyway, try to stay positive best you can. What’s done is done. It is quite possible that you will recover from this to the point where you can live with it. You could make a ~full recovery over the next ~year (+/-) or so. It’s really anyone’s guess - including any urologist you choose to take advise from.

Based on everything you posted in the OP, I certainly would not allow him/her to touch you again with needles or knifes. I would bank on purely concervative options only for quite some time unless something changes that specifically warrants such treatment options.

BTW, If you are interested in finding the other threads or testimonials like yours, type “cut a vein” “cut a vein instead of the vas” or similar search terms into the search bar on this site.

If you have any specific questions that you cannot seem to find answers to, don’t hesitate to ask for some assistance.

Hope that helps.

P.S… Please be sure to post at least one update in the future. Update/s are helpful to others that end up in similar or the same situation/s. Everyone likes to read updates that give them some positive reinforcement, some hope, etc. Even if something potentially bad transpires in the future, others will still appreciate your update/s.

Good luck

@RingoStar thanks for the reply. I’ll be sure to post updates as I heal and learn more. I’ll also try to search for similar posts. Thanks again.

1 Like

Something new: I feel a 1-2mm sized lump on the part of my penis that comes out about an inch when erect and ducks back in when soft. This tiny lump, which was not there prior to the vasectomy, is attached by a smooth structure to the large lump I mention above. This was confusing to me because based on the anatomy pictures and models I’ve been looking at, the spermatic cord is next to but separate from the penis. And yet, when I pull my penis to the right side, the smooth structure linking the tiny lump and the large lump because taut and pulls the large lump to the right.

I looked for other photos of the anatomy and noticed that there is something called the superficial fascia that blankets the penis and the spermatic cord. It looks like this fascia would have to be cut to get to the vas but why would that cause a small lump and why would it be attached the big 1.5cm lump that supposedly was inside my spermatic cord? Perhaps I’m oversimplifying what all gets cut and torn in my head and things really do get pretty messed up under the skin. Anyone else who had the non-scalpel method have this?

Thank you

This definitely sounds like a large hematoma. Considering what happened, it’s not surprising either.

I’m no doctor, but I would guess that the cause of the lump is absolutely related to his mistake.

This part is definitely confusing.

If you look up what a post vasectomy granuloma is, where it should be located, etc - this possiblity doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

Tissue coming together? I can only assume that he was referring scar tissue - and that does make some sense, although it does sound like a lot of scare tissue considering you were only 2 weeks post vas when you had the ultrasound.

A hematoma certainly makes some sense. The mass you describe 2 weeks post vas is approximately .550 x .550 x .430 - or about 1/2 inch x 1/2 inch x 7/16 inch - or about the size of a small marble.

I’m not suggesting that you absolutely have a hematoma, but given your story, it certainly fits the bill. There are countless hematoma story’s on this site. Several of the men that posted similar stories as yours, also reported a hematoma in the same timeframe.

If this seemingly remnant mass is indeed purely scar tissue, it sounds awfully large for 2 weeks post vas.

Perhaps this remaining mass is a combination of remnant hematoma and subsequent scar tissue from his mistake? Considering everything, that sounds quite possible as well.

Considering the size of the mass 4 days post vasectomy, it certainly had gotten a whole lot smaller in a matter of less than 2 weeks. The mass may not have changed much over the next 2 weeks, but it’s still quite possible that it will get smaller over time.

I’m not sure if your vasectomist has been straight up with you, but I’m guessing he hasn’t been. He probably doesn’t want you to panic. He’s probably trying to keep you calm and optimistic instead.

TBH, considering your case specifically, I don’t see many options at this point in time. Don’t get me wrong, there are always options, but…

Panicking will only make things worse for you and could very well lead to more problems. Anxiety has been known to cause more pain (among other things) when it comes to stuff like this. Unless your vasectomist has been living under a rock his entire career, he should already be aware of what I am talking about.

Considering everything that happened to you, this doesn’t sound way off. Everything about your recovery up to this point sounds moreless like I would expect. I actually think you are doing pretty damn well considering everything.

Perhaps you didn’t like the idea of this could take as long as a year or more to completely resolve itself. Like I said, it’s really anyone’s guess. I suppose if I took your vasectomists super optimistic pass the buck approach, I would tell you that you might be better in a matter of months and you are just going to have to keep an eye on everything.

Bottom line - countless men that post on this site go through all kinds of crap (complications, pain, lumps, bumps, etc) and the majority of them (51% or more) eventually pull through. You certainly got more than you bargained for. I know you didn’t sign yourself up for any of this mistake stuff, but at this point, you still have options, and many of them do carry a significant amount of risk. That’s why I suggested sticking with purely concervative options for quite some time unless something changes.

A few examples of what I refer to as concervative options.

NSAID’s (pharmaceutical antiinflammatories)
Natural antiinflammatories
Hot, warm, or cold soaks
The correct supportive underwear (tight, loose, somewhere in-between).
An athletic supporter (a jock strap)
A soft doughnut cushion to sit on
Various supplements that might help resolve scar tissue
Various natrual pain relievers
Various pharmaceutical pain relievers
Pelvic floor physical therapy (PFPT)
Papaya seed powder
Testosterone replacement therapy

Keep in mind that many things in that limited list are nearly risk free. Some of those options carry a significant amount of risk, but I still refer to them as typical purely concervative options. Example - technically speaking, NSAID’s are not a purely concervative option because someone will draw the shortest straw, but NSAID’s, among other things, are considered ~low risk concervative options in the big picture.

Considering everything that has happened to you, I would guess that you still have a decent amount of inflammation going on. I would also guess that you still have a lot of healing to do over time. Unless something else develops - like another typical post vasectomy complication, I still think you will improve over time with concervative options.

Welcome to vasectomy.

Whatever the case, I’m sorry to hear all of this. Even with your addendum, I still think odds are in your favor. I don’t think I’ve got much else at this point in time. This shit sucks. Recoveries can seemingly take forever, but like the majority, you should make some improvements over time.

Yes, he meant scar tissue and the progress of its formation (the inflammation). That is what the ultrasound radiologist said as well. It was absolutely solid with titanium clips within/around it.

The initial size 4 days post vasectomy included the swelling of the vessels immediately beneath the hard mass. Today, while those vessels remain engorged (especially by the end of the day), they do not feel as hard as they were originally. 4-days post op, they felt like a singular flexed muscle. I’m afraid of the long term effects of these vessels having a higher internal pressure than normal. I mean, I can definitely see them though my skin and when I poke them, they move around instead of compressing.

Today, there is a nauseating pain that stems from the back of my left testicle while sitting and goes away when I shift positions. However, when I stand up and try to feel around the testicle to see if I touch something that triggers the same sensation, I can’t replicate it. Also, I tried to feel what happens with the large lump when I move around like (gently) squatting or lunging and it goes up towards my stomach. I see from anatomy pictures that the spermatic cord goes up into the inguinal ring. I’m worried what would happen if my movements were more explosive.

Another thing I’ve noticed over the past couple of days (however not much today) is a rumbling feeling in my scrotum, I think on both sides. Not muscle twitches so much but similar to what it’s like when you turn one the faucet to a hose for the first time. That same kind of sputtering. I’m not sure what that’s about. Perhaps it’s something that also happened pre-vasectomy but am now extra cognizant of any sensation down there.

Last thing to note is that I have a 2nd ultrasound scheduled for the 30th. So that will be approx 6wks post-vasectomy. At the minimum, I will provide another update at that point. If I experience anything new in the meantime, I’ll post it on here too.

Thank you for your engagement in this.