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Vasectomy (cont.)

After the Procedure

Someone should drive the patient home. Any discomfort is usually mild, and pain relievers should be used if needed. The local anesthetic begins to wear off after an hour or so. Recovery time after a no-scalpel vasectomy is usually a little less than that after a traditional vasectomy. The following are general guidelines that help ensure a speedy recovery (talk with the doctor who did the procedure for specific instructions):

  • Apply an ice pack or package of frozen peas (or other such package) to the scrotum for the first 24 hours after the procedure. Wrap the ice pack in a towel. Do not place ice directly on the skin.
  • Avoid walking or standing as much as possible for a couple of days.
  • Wear snug cotton briefs or an athletic supporter to help apply pressure against the procedure area and for support of the scrotum for the first week or two after the procedure.
  • Avoid heavy lifting or exercise for at least one week. Doctors commonly allow a return to work within three days unless the job involves physical exertion. In general, avoid activities that cause discomfort.
  • Wait at least a week before resuming sexual activity; use birth-control methods until the doctor indicates the patient is sterile (see below).
  • Semen will be collected (usually at home) approximately six to 12 weeks after surgery (and possibly even later) and examined under a microscope to make certain that no sperm remain. It is important to use some form of birth control until the doctor specifically tells the patient that they are sterile (no sperm are present).
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