Pre & Post Vasectomy Instructions
Vasectomy Pre-Operative Instructions
For the week prior to surgery:
- Avoid Aspirin for one week and aspirin-like products (ibuprofen, naproxen—Advil, Aleve, etc.) for a minimum of 48 hours prior to your procedure.
- Make sure that you talk to your doctor about any other medications you may be taking. Medicines that you may be asked to stop up to one week before the procedure include: blood thinners such as clopidogrel (Plavix), or warfarin (Coumadin).
- If you wish, you can obtain a prescription for a mild, oral anti-anxiety medication prior to the procedure.
For the day of surgery:
- Wear comfortable clothing. Shower before leaving home. You may bring headphones and music if you prefer.
- A supportive undergarment will be placed following the procedure; however, we recommend bringing an athletic supporter with you to your vasectomy.
- As a standard precaution, you should arrange for someone to drive you to and from the hospital.
- If you have a prescription for an anti-anxiety medication, you should take this medication 30 minutes prior to your arrival at the clinic. It is required that you have someone drive you to and from the clinic if you take this medication.
- The vasectomy will be done using a local anesthetic. You will be given a prescription for pain medication. In most cases, ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) is sufficient to relieve discomfort two to three days following your vasectomy.
- You may trim your scrotal hair prior to the procedure, or this can be done in the office at the time of your appointment.
Vasectomy Post-Operative Instructions
For the first several days:
- Apply ice packs intermittently to the scrotum the night of your vasectomy and as much as possible the following day. Do not apply for more than 20 minutes at a time.
- Remove all dressings–except one or two clean gauze pads–from inside the athletic supporter after 24 hours. Continue using the athletic supporter for one week.
- Cover the incisions with one or two clean gauze pads regularly for three days after surgery. A small amount of blood on the gauze pads is normal. Tell your doctor if you have excessive bleeding or need to change the gauze pads more than two or three times daily.
- You may shower 24 hours after your vasectomy. Afterwards, keep the area of the incision clean and dry.
- Refrain from intercourse/ejaculation for one week. Ejaculation may cause some discomfort in the groin and testicles until the tissues heal.
- You may return to work and resume normal, non-strenuous activity in about two days or 48 hours. Activities such as weight lifting and jogging should not be resumed for a minimum of one week.
- Note: Absorbable stitches are used for closure of the wound and do not necessitate removal.
- You will likely have some postoperative discomfort; complications are rare but can occur. Contact the clinic office if, after arriving home, you have any of the following symptoms:
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills.
- Redness, swelling, excessive pain or bleeding, or discharge at the incision site.
- Difficulty urinating.
- Pain that you cannot control with your medications.
- Call the clinic office (434-924-9548 or 434-924-9560) if you have questions or concerns.
For the longer term—semen testing:
- Sperm can remain in your semen for three to six months, or longer, after your vasectomy. Therefore, it is very important for you to continue to use contraception until your semen is analyzed and you are cleared by your doctor.
- At the three-month mark, a semen specimen should be brought to our office for fertility analysis. It is recommended that you have at least 20 ejaculations during that first three-month period. You should also abstain from ejaculation for two or three days prior to collection of the semen specimen.
- For complete instructions about the semen specimen collection, please refer to the “Patient Instructions For Post-Vasectomy Semen Specimen Collection” form in this area of the Urology web site. You may also download this form as a PDF file.
Ryan P. Smith
Assistant Professor of Urology