Patient: My wife and I have two children and do not wish for more. I am now considering a vasectomy as a means of permanent contraception. Around four years ago I suffered a chronic form of epididymitis which caused tenderness for over 18 months. It was never discovered if this was caused by trauma or infection, but nonetheless I was prescribed a number of antibiotics. It is much improved now although I still have mild tenderness if I palpate the epididymis. Would a vasectomy for someone with my history put them at greater risk of Post Vasectomy Pain or other complications? As PVP can affect anyone, I’m concerned that my background might predispose me to a greater risk of such conditions.
Doctor: The risk of Post vasectomy pain is approximately 1:1000. That is, of every 100 men that undergo the procedure, one will end up with chronic pain. As you can see, this is quite low. A history of chronic epidydimitis does not increase directly increase your risk of postoperative chronic pain. However, it may make the procedure more difficult for the surgeon as there will be significant scar tissue. This will make it difficult for the surgeon to identify all the structures, including the epidydimis, clearly. That, in turn, may lead to inadvertent injury to surrounding structures. Should your decide to go ahead with a vasectomy, be sure to inform your doctor of your chronic epidydimitis as well as all other medical conditions you have.