It is important to know what to do to help reduce the chance of infection after vasectomy reversal.
Scrotal infections, swellings and wound dehiscence (opening) are very common after surgery in this area. Concerns may be heightened by an understandable worry that complications may affect the results of vasectomy reversal, which are important for your relationship.
These are the signs that you need to be aware are indicative of a possible wound infection.
Temperature: a high temperature with fever where you might feel chilled.
Heat: the wound and immediate area feels hotter than normal.
Swelling: minor swelling of the wound is nominal. Gross swelling of either testis could indicate an infection
Colour: the wound might be redder than usual with associated inflammation. Some redness is normal but it should decrease over time.
Leak Fluid: the wound might start leaking fluid which smells bad and has a colour ranging from blood-tinged to green, white or yellow
Pain: after vasectomy reversal this should subside every day. If you experience a sudden rise in pain, it could be due to a developing infection
Wound Opening: around a week of so after your surgery you notice the wound opening slightly.
Don’t panic. It is not nice to be able to see the wound opening and catching sight of tissue underneath. This is usually a sign that you do have a superficial (mild) infection and , in Mr Harriss’s experience, NEVER due to the post-op glue or a below skin stitch failing. It usually occurs around a week to 10 days after surgery and the fact that it has occurred does not mean that it will affect the outcome of the surgery. However, it will take longer to heal as it will do so from the bottom of the wound upwards.
Please do NOT:
- use anything, and we mean anything to re-close the wound. No steri-strips, plasters, new stitches even. Nothing. This is so important as you would be sealing the bad exudate inside creating the perfect environment for an abscess to form which is not what you want.
- have a daily bath to soak it and to encourage the drainage of any exudate.
- visit your GP for a course of antibiotics and some sterile dressings to capture the exudate and loosely place against the wound
- send a photo of the wound to Mr Harriss’s secretary email@example.com
What To Do If You Think You Have An Infection?
As many of the patients attending the BMI Park Hospital for a vasectomy reversal live in a different part of the UK or abroad and it is therefore not practical to see Mr Harriss for postoperative advice. Unfortunately it is difficult to diagnose postoperative complications over the telephone so it is recommended that any concerns are examined by the your General Practitioner in the first instance who will be able to prescribe antibiotics. Infection usually presents between seven to ten days after surgery with discharge, wound breakdown or excessive pain.
Please remember that it is not uncommon to experience an infection after vasectomy reversal. It is very likely that you won’t. If you remember to follow all the guidelines on this site, you should be fine. But if not, please do get help as soon as it is required.