The tiny opening will, at your request, be sealed with a special surgical skin adhesive (2-octyl cyanoacrylate). The advantages to having this 'glue' is that it seals the wound, stops the bleeding, can help reduce the risk of infection and allows you to shower immediately. The doctor applies it once after the vasectomy and it falls off on its own after a few days to a week. There is no need for you to do anything more with it other than to keep some gauze pads over the area for extra cushioning for the first 2 days.
If you do not opt for the glue, there will be a little leakage of blood or blood staining on the gauze pads the doctor will place over the wound. This lasts a few hours to a few days. Change the gauze with the antibiotic ointment twice a day until there is no more staining.
You don't have to lie in bed...sitting behind a computer is just fine. After the first day or two you may walk and move around a little more. Place an ice pack (e.g. a bag of frozen peas) on the scrotum (over the support) several times on the evening of your surgery. You do not need to ice the scrotum after this unless you want to. You will begin to feel an aching or bruised feeling, particularly when shaking the penis after urination. Urination itself is not a problem. It is not necessary to take anything for this, but you may use the prescribed anti-inflammatory. A little bit of everything is normal: a little pain, a little bleeding (unless glue has been applied) and a little swelling. If there is more than a little bit, or if you are concerned, call the doctor. Bruising or black marks on the scrotum in the days following your vasectomy are to he expected and are not dangerous. Wear your scrotal support for three or four days at least, over or under your underwear (the position of the penis is unimportant). It will keep the scrotum well supported, reducing the risk of internal bleeding. You may wear it for longer if you wish. It takes, in all, about a month to heal completely after this sort of surgery. If you are okay after a week, you may ease back into your usual activities, keeping in mind that things are still healing up. Wear the support whenever you work out or exercise in the 1st month after the vasectomy. If it hurts, back off and go slow. The doctor is happy to see you at any time if there are problems (he wants to know if there are problems), so don't hesitate to call in the months or years after your vasectomy.
The first ejaculation should not be painful, don't be scared. After 12 weeks bring your semen sample to the designated laboratory only for analysis. Produce the sample by masturbation and catch it in the container provided. Deliver it within an hour or so. You will be called with the result within a day of the doctor receiving it (usually a week after you bring it in). You are asked to provide a second sample only if the first result is unclear. More than 80% of men will have a zero sperm count after 15-20 ejaculations. Occasionally it takes longer to clear the semen (6-12 months). The presence of live sperm three months after your vasectomy, however, may indicate something called 'recanalization'. This is when the sperm have managed to create their own tunnel to rejoin the tubes. The risk of failure in this way averages 1-3 per thousand. No method of birth control is 100% guaranteed. Vasectomy has the lowest failure rate of any form of sterilization (lower than a woman having tubal ligation - 'tubes tied'). But - there is a very small chance of late failure years after your vasectomy. You may consider having a semen analysis regularly to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.
The information on this page is reproduced by kind permission of Dr. Ronald S. Weiss.
Dr. Marc Iseri, a board certified urologist, is one of only two doctors on the west coast to offer the ground-breaking no needle no scalpel vasectomy procedure. Read more: Breakthrough No-Needle, No-Scalpel Vasectomy Now Available in the Treasure Valley