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Vasectomy: Risks and Complications

A vasectomy is an outpatient procedure. This means you’ll go home the same day. It’s done in a doctor’s office, clinic, or hospital. Before your procedure, you’ll be asked to read and sign a consent form. This form states you’re aware of the possible risks and complications. It also says that you understand that the procedure, though most often successful, can’t promise to make you sterile. Be sure you have all your questions answered before you sign this form. Below is a list of risks and possible complications of the procedure.

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 medications can provide relief.

  • Epididymitis.This is inflammation that may cause scrotal aching. It often goes away without treatment. Anti-inflammatory medications can provide relief.

  • Reconnection of the vas deferens. This can occur in rare cases. It makes you fertile again. This can result in an unwanted pregnancy.

  • Sperm antibodies.These are a common response of the body to 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.

Online Medical Reviewer: Shapiro, Charles E, MD, FACS
Online Medical Reviewer: Shinghal, Rajesh, MD
Last Review Date: 10/26/2011
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