Risks of Vasectomy
Although Vasectomy is a very safe procedure, as with any operation there are associated risks. All of these will be discussed in detail during your consultation appointment.
Wherever you choose to have your Vasectomy, it is important that you ask your surgeon not only the standard rates of complications, but also their clinic’s actual complication rates.
There is a small risk of bleeding due to vasectomy, about 0.5%, or 1 in 200 men, based on the medical literature. During the procedure, the doctor will control any bleeding directly. Rarely, bleeding may occur after vasectomy, forming a haematoma (bruise) under the skin. The majority of the time this will stop on its own and the body will absorb the haematoma naturally. In a very small number of men, another procedure may be required to drain the haematoma. We always ask whether you are on any medications that can cause bleeding, or if you have a history of bleeding easily, so we can take the appropriate steps to minimize the chance of bleeding.
The risk of infection after No Needle, No Scalpel Vasectomy is very low, approximately 0.4%, or 1 in 250 men, based on the literature. The vast majority of these infections can be treated with oral medications, although even more rarely, surgical drainage may be required.
In some men a small lump the size of a pea may be felt under the scrotal skin, at the site of the vasectomy. This is called a sperm granuloma, which is your body's reaction to the procedure, and is not in itself a complication. Most men are not aware that it is there, although it may be sensitive if it is squeezed directly with fingers. In the small number of men who develop post vasectomy pain syndrome, some find that their pain is localized to this lump. This can usually be treated initially with anti-inflammatories. If necessary, removal of the granuloma can correct these symptoms.
Many men do not have any need for painkillers after vasectomy, and of those who do, most require only a short course of over-the-counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen. However, about 1% to 2% of men have long term pain, called post-vasectomy pain syndrome, according to the American Urological Association. Non operative treatment strategies will improve these symptoms in the majority of men, but they are not always successful. Rarely, surgical procedures may be performed in an attempt to treat this condition.
Our Complication Rates
At the Toronto Vasectomy Clinics, we engage in regular practice audits to track our patient outcomes and determine complication rates. We have performed over 3500 vasectomies since 2012. All of our complication rates are significantly lower than the medical standards for each risk described above.
You should feel comfortable asking us about these rates at the time of your consultation. We welcome your questions.