Post Vasectomy Pain Forum

Vasectomy Veteran Appeals

I’ve been reading through va.gov veteran appeals that include keywords like “vasectomy pain” and found quite a few examples there of men who are applying for disability ratings based on problems resulting from the vasectomy they received while they were serving.

For background, here’s the “Veterans Health Library” statement on “Vasectomy Risks and Complications”:

Risks and possible complications of vasectomy

Vasectomy is safe. But it does have risks. They include the following:

  • Bleeding or infection
  • Sperm granuloma. This is a small, harmless lump. It may form where the vas deferens is sealed off.
  • Sperm buildup (congestion). This may cause soreness in the testes. Anti-inflammatory medicine can provide relief.
  • Epididymitis. This is inflammation that may cause scrotal aching. It often goes away without treatment. Anti-inflammatory medicine can provide relief.
  • Reconnection of the vas deferens. This can occur in rare cases. It makes you fertile again. This may result in an unplanned pregnancy.
  • Sperm antibodies. Developing antibodies is a common response of your body to the absorbed sperm. The antibodies can make you sterile. This is true even if you later try to reverse your vasectomy.
  • Long-term testicular discomfort. This may occur after surgery. But it’s very rare.

That introduction though:

Vasectomy is safe. But it does have risks.

LOL.

Ok.

So before you get your vasectomy, this the official story:

  • Long-term testicular discomfort. This may occur after surgery. But it’s very rare.

And after you get your vasectomy, and have chronic pain, this is the official story:

The Veteran asserts that his vasectomy surgery resulted in left testicular pain and swollen, discolored, and disfigured testicles, and that such additional disability was the result of negligence on the part of VA in performing the surgery. The record does not reflect, and the Veteran has not argued, that his vasectomy was performed without his informed consent.

The examiner opined that the Veteran’s current pain was as likely as not due to his vasectomy, citing a medical article entitled “The incidence of post-vasectomy chronic testicular pain and the role of nerve stripping (denervation) of the spermatic cord in its management,” stating that it was estimated that 5 to 33 percent of vasectomized men have post vasectomy pain syndrome that can last a lifetime.

The examiner stated that there was no evidence that the Veteran’s residual vasectomy pain syndrome was the result of carelessness, negligence, lack of proper skill, error in judgment, or similar instance of fault on the part of the attending VA personnel or the result of an event that could not reasonably have been foreseen or anticipated by a competent health care provider.

While the Veteran might contend that his pain syndrome is the result of such negligence, he is not competent to make any such medical determination.

No pain syndrome or other additional disability caused by VA medical treatment was either the result of carelessness, negligence, lack of proper skill, error in judgment, or similar instance of fault on the part of VA in furnishing the Veteran’s November 2005 vasectomy or any other medical or surgical treatment, or an event not reasonably foreseeable.

Compensation under 38 U.S.C. § 1151 for post vasectomy residuals is denied.

Reddit post

Original here

So when you’re considering a vasectomy, long term pain is “very rare”. But if you come back looking for disability compensation due to PVPS, well then chronic pain was “reasonably foreseeable”, and happens to 5-33% of men, and you were warned – so piss off.

They don’t have to give you any assistance for PVPS because the procedure was elective, and:

Elective procedures, such as vasectomy, cosmetic breast reduction, or kidney donation, are not congruent with the provisions required for the purpose of SC of a disease or injury incurred coincident with a Veteran’s active service. However, unusual or unanticipated outcomes resulting in an actually disabling condition that arise as a result of an in-service elective procedure may be subject to SC. (Link)

… and chronic pain is, in the judgement of this appeals body, not an “unusual or unanticipated” outcome.

And indeed, they are correct. Chronic pain is a foreseeable consequence of getting a vasectomy.

The record does not reflect, and the Veteran has not argued, that his vasectomy was performed without his informed consent.

My guess would be, however, that the veteran was not given informed consent as described in the same court record:

Informed consent is the freely given consent that follows a careful explanation by the practitioner to the patient or the patient’s surrogate of the proposed diagnostic or therapeutic procedure or course of treatment. The practitioner, who has primary responsibility for the patient or who will perform the particular procedure or provide the treatment, must explain in language understandable to the patient or surrogate the nature of a proposed procedure or treatment; the expected benefits; reasonably foreseeable associated risks, complications or side effects; reasonable and available alternatives; and anticipated results if nothing is done.