Although sterile technique, gloves, drapes, instruments etc are used there remains the possibility of infection being introduced during the procedure or afterwards in the bacteriologically rich pubic/scrotal environment. This is mitigated against by good skin preparation, by not showering on the day (following the procedure) and applying liquid betadine or hibitane to the very small wound high on the scrotum on each side.
The scrotum is loose baggy tissue, which like eyelid tissue can readily accept swelling. Good scrotal support (double pair of jockey type underpants) should be worn from leaving the surgery. Cold packs (usually as small packs of frozen peas) should be applied hourly for 15 minutes, commencing on arrival home after the procedure, and continuing until retiring that night.
Pain and discomfort is to be expected for a few days after the procedure, but may be minimised with good support, cold packs and the use of panadol or panadeine. Some men (approximately 30%) experience congestive/full feelings, intermittently, in the epididymis in the first 3-4 months, until such time as the body down-regulates sperm production to match sperm break-down rates in the epididymis. Long term orchalgia (testicular discomfort) is a very infrequent outcome, and thought to be related to irritation of the nerves running in the spermatic cord. This is a low risk with appropriate technique and instruments, but might rarely require further intervention.
Sperm Granuloma is a local foreign body reaction to sperm leaked from the divided ends of the vas deferens: they are uncommon with a clamp and tie method, and are felt as a small painless lump some months after vasectomy. They generally require no treatment.
There is an extremely low risk of the tubes rejoining after a vasectomy. Were this to occur an unplanned pregnancy could result. Vasectomy remains the most effective form of permanent contraception available, including tubal ligation.
It is most important to continue contraception post-operatively til the 4 months post-vasectomy semen analysis, and clearance from the surgery. A clearance cannot be given under 3 months post-op. QML pathology laboratory locations may be found here.