General Nov 25, 2010 at 4:00 am

A Simple Vasectomy Goes Horribly, Horribly Wrong


Did they evaluate you for underlying disease process that could cause the abnormal bleeding/bruising?
I remember the video and other PR I was given in the urologist's office, saying you hardly feel a things and then you just take it easy for a couple days and you'll never know you had the surgery. HA! He was pretty stingy with the valium and local (they don't want you so drowsy you can't vacate the office right away), and they had to practically hold me down on the table it hurt so much. The Dr's attitude was I was just a wimp. Then I couldn't walk without pain for weeks, and couldnt sit on a bicycle seat for nearly 6 MONTHS. So do your research, ask around, and don't go with the first urologist you see. if you're more sensitive to pain than most, demand the extra compensation. And make sure you're not going to be immediately forced out of the office afterward.
I knew a guy who got a vasectomy and it went totally smoothly, FWIW. He was sore for a week, and fine after that.

It sounds like the doctor in the article accidentally nicked a blood vessel and didn't seal it up properly. So it bled into the scrotum, causing the bruising and the hematoma. Looks like (…) there's about 10% chance of complications overall, 2% for hematoma, 4% for infection, 4% for "sperm granules." Not that the merc would actually give useful information when FUD is so much fun.
agreed. i had a vasectomy, in addition to multiple friends of mine (all within the past 5 years). none of them dealt with any of the complications spelled out here. how long ago did this guy get the procedure done? where did he go? i've never encountered anyone else being given valium... or even requiring stitches. the no-scapel procedure is the most common method these days (which is nothing like how it was done 20 years ago). i have no idea why anyone would want to sign up for an older, more invasive procedure. even the sliding scale planned parenthood clinics use the no scalpel procedure.
i wish the vast majority (who've had positive experiences) were as equally outspoken as the minority.
This made my balls tingle most uncomfortably.
I don't mean to imply that what happened to me is common. I'm sure most of these operations don't lead to so much trauma and drama. And of course, I'm not gonna tell you who the doctors were. Think I want to get sued or something?
I had this procedure and it was VERY routine. This is the exception, not the rule folks. I'm actually a little upset about this being so prominently published. Guys, if you aren't wanting kids, do it. It's way more cost/pain effective than any female permanent contraception. Your partner doesn't have to inject hormones into herself anymore and you aren't creating one more mouth to feed. Did I mention how much better the sex is? No need for condoms (assuming an exclusive relationship with no current STDs) and no back of the mind worries of "an accident". Just unadulterated, do it whenever we feel like it fucking.
"A couple of months later, I had to bring the doctor a sperm sample in a plastic cup. I was as fertile as a hat."

- um, how fertile is a hat?
It is not even funny. I have so many friends that have horror fantasies about having a vasectomy, that article like that does not help and It is sad to have to read that in the Mercury. I had a vasectomy, great results. The best thing It is that as a man and a father I took responsabilty about not having more kids. Ladies have babies everyday through their vagina that has to stretch ten times their normal size, no big deal. Gentlemen make a big deal of that little procedure, no need more horror histories, need more clarity. (sorry for my grammar, English is not my first language).
and FWIW - my vasectomy was done in what was literally a storage room of the doctor's office and the pain was much more intense than what was alluded to. I was up and moving around much quicker than the author (a weekend of rest), but the bruising scared the hell out of me, and 11 months later I was the proud papa of my 3rd child.

so @bucknroses, although I don't know the statistics, I doubt these stories are merely "exceptions".
still doesn't sound nearly as bad as giving birth, so no sympathy from me.
I was talked into having a benign cyst removed about three years ago now. I had no pain but had discovered it while doing a self-check in the shower. I originally saw the Urologist simply as a precaution. He suggested I have it removed "...just to be sure". He compared the surgery to a vasectomy, saying he had done those multiple times- even for a local radio-show host... on the air. He told me I would be sitting around with a bag of frozen peas for about a month, then back on my feet. He seemed so sure, I didn't think to get a second opinion. Always, always, get a second opinion!!

As I was waking up in the recovery room, completely groggy, he stopped by my gurney and told me it was more complicated than expected, then walked away. I just passed back out. Little did I know what had been told to me was like being told you are about to experience torture.

It wasn't until a few days afterward that the one testicle nearest the cyst grew to four times its size. No need to explain this level of pain- it's inexplicably outrageous- and ice barely helped. I went to the doctor and then to the surgeon, both of who responded with, "Oh my God!". Not what one wants to hear from their "experts". The hematoma remained and slowly dropped in size over eight months of incredible discomfort/raging, debilitating pain. All of the moments you've ever seen on TV and laughed or complained about when any man feels the sensation of "blue balls" was exponential to this. I wore baggy shorts and only ventured out when I had to. I was between jobs, using the insurance benefits, and the one month promise disappeared into nearly a year before I returned, uncomfortably, to a job again as I could not even stand up straight, much less perform reasonably. As I am a project manager, I was constantly under pressure, talking with clients, emails, telephone and visits to keep the client happy. It's difficult to hide this much pain.

The pain had dropped precipitously from the last year, but still ached- depending on the weather. Then, about eight months after the surgeon had told me his work was done, shooting pains and aching that lasted for entire days began. I immediately contacted my doctor and on to the surgeon. He seemed at a loss. Amazing. For whatever percentage of people who have this procedure done, he had not had one that it didn't go perfect for him. This pain was as strong as post-surgery and, at times, sharper. I thought the hell was over. The surgeon had me come into his office where he tried to "disrupt the pain messages to the brain with a block". The shots into my "sac" made it only worse. The surgeon prescribed powerful pain meds and at times, I couldn't even focus on my computer screen. I had another ultrasound and found there was now scar tissue (sensitive area) and... another benign cyst. WTF?

Unhappy with the surgeon's inability to solve the dilemma, I went for another opinion. The surgeon was shocked at my story, asked if I had requested the surgery... a comment I heard over the next few months by other physicians.
The second surgeon thought differently about this and shot me that day with something else- testosterone. My pain dropped in half overnight!! I moved my records to the other surgeon immediately. After checking me over, he confessed the only thing he could do now was remove the testicle to stop the pain. Hmm, how did we get waaay over here??

I had the surgery performed nearly one year later. That had a hematoma as well, but a much more direct surgeon who seemed to genuinely care. I was in pain the whole time on varying levels and feel some pain occasionally to this day, but am grateful for the relief.

This experience has changed my entire perspective on the medical industry. I spoke with lawyers- some of the best in the region. The doctors and surgeons pay nearly $10,000 per month for the same insurer for all. They win 97% of their cases. They are vicious. The first surgeon did back off and stop trying to bill me for the pain he created when I discussed an unnecessary surgery with my insurer (First, do no harm).

I hope this helps someone else if they are contemplating a vasectomy. Or any other kind of work like this: Get a second opinion, or even a third before entrusting your body to someone who has become a pro a making a great deal of money, but doesn't deal with the whole person. Our sorry state of health insurance isn't helping, but this changed the son of a nurse, who had no fear of hospitals, doctors or surgeons. I've actually seen a counselor for the two years of my life I was in constant pain and what it took to bring my quality of life back toward something called normal.

Thanks for your story. I know, we're dudes! We can shrug off the pain! Well... try it! It's not something you tell your friends about, but it's the only topic on your mind when it is aching deeply 24/7.
@saypdx A hat is not fertile. Not at all. Even baby hats are not made from hat sex.
Dear Mercury,
Fuck you very much for making this the cover story in Nov. 2010. It convinced my dad & mom NOT to have a V & now I am here, wearing 5 year old, hand me down skinny jeans & used Tomes because my parents spent all their money on vintage eyewear & hair products instead of diapers. I was the only baby to shit in the tshirts of aging indie bands from 2009. I'm the lamest kid in my class & tire of explaining that The Joggers were not a fitness group. FML.
Colin Nova Ryann Fischer-Stevens, 1st grade Abernathy Elementary (where I had to transfer so mom could get Tiny's on the way) Nov. 28, 2016
Why is this story important? Are testicles/scrote sacs some sort of untouchable golden calf? Lots and lots and lots of surgeries have exceptional cases of unexpected swelling and bruising. Is this one more important because it has to do with the ONE BODY PART on a human being that Must Never Be Fucked With?

Has anyone ever heard of/witnessed/personally experienced, say, an episiotomy? Go get your effing vasectomy and stop whining.
@A.W. - Maybe the best comment I've ever read on here.

@Saypdx - If you don't know the statistics you have no place "doubting" that this is the exception, not the rule. When things go wrong, people scream and shout about it. It is much more prominently displayed. It's as if a foreigner was watching TV about America and he saw the tea party and assumed that everyone in America was like THAT. No, just because you are louder and more obnoxious, doesn't mean that you are the majority. It's not news when a flight lands safely, it is when the plane goes down. I'm not sure of the statistics of airplane crashes, but I'm pretty sure they are the exception, not the rule.

Oh, in case anyone wants actual information and not just guys being whiny bitches about "bruising" (perhaps guys shouldn't skate, play sports, or walk around in fear of bruising themselves?):…

Get over your dicks and balls, they are just body parts. More importantly, get over yourselves. You're not that important.
Anyone else think this was just Sampsell's lame way of plugging his book?

And what kind of paper puts a botched vasectomy on the front page?
I had my vasectomy done 12 yrs. ago w/ two scars on my sack, the old way. Two of my friends have also done it, too. We had no problems, either. We tried to talk another friend into it after his second kid, he now has 4 children. Which is worse? Whiney people need to vent, but this kvethcher is gonna scare alot of men needlessly. He had complications, Dr.'s warn you about this, sometimes they don't succeed. When planned parenthood does it they make it so you can't sue if you're still fertile. Vasectomys are good for the planet and the northwest, do it!
Got about half way through....couldn't read the rest....youch!
About 10 years ago (shortly after the birth of our third child), I went through the same thing (except I lied awake stiff as a board). The doctor was complaing of the scar tissue on my left nut and my cord was wrapped up in it. The seditive wore off and I felt the jolt of electricity shocking my nut. The surgery wound up taking an hour and a half. First my left nut swelled up to about the size of a baseball (My wife held a baseball and one hand and my swollen nut in the other). My right nut soon joined in and I grew a third nut. I also had to pee in the shower spraying everything. The cold pacs felt good but were of no use as I lie sitting up on the couch, I could not get comfortable. At the time I was working for "The Oregonian" in the mailroom and had to call in sick. Our boss required us to give a reason for being sick and I said "swollen testicles." Needless to say I heard a lot comments and jokes from coworkers for about a year afterwards. The situation was very uncomfortable and I had to wait until monday to visit the eurologist that performed the surgery. By the time I showed up at KAISER, I was walking real bull legged and my hips were hurting from being dislodged to accomodate my swelling. The doctor came to visit me in the patient room and was astounded by the size of my nuts and wanted to hospitalize me. I refused and he gave me cipro with percoset for the infection. To this day I still fear doctors and hospitals.
I was more nervous going into mine than you seem to have been. I even puked in the operating room, prior to anything being done to my balls. Sorry your recovery sucked and the surgery didn't take.
I also had a similar experience to your, but not quite as extreme. I misunderstood the doctor's instruction to "avoid water down there" (avoid a bath, but showering was ok) as instructions to use alcohol on the incision. It stung like crazy and killed the new cells producing the same infection reaction as you had. And yes, I was green as the bruise was reabsorbed, but the brusing faded after a full week.

I'll never return to that doctor again. Certainly not for another vasectomy.
Kevin, you can't get sued for slander or anything like that if you're telling the truth. You can only get sued if you make up something and present it as truth. So your fear of lawsuit makes me think you made this up.

Furthermore, you obviously DID mean to "imply" that this is a common result otherwise you would have somehow indicated that vasectomies are usually safe. But that was an afterthought only when your poorly written article received such a negative reaction.
If I could put in an unsolicited plug, I had mine done the non-invasive way 3 years ago at Southwest Family Physicians, and I didn't even have any swelling. At all. They did a great job. So don't assume all vasectomies go this way just because the guy who had a crappy doctor happened to have been a writer.

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