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Vasectomy Reversal Complications

Vasectomy reversal complications can occur. However this is the same for all surgeries and this means there are risks and pain associated with vasectomy reversal. After your vasectomy reversal, be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions. Reversals are usually a safe procedure, having comparatively low risk (just slightly higher risk than vasectomy procedures). The most common side-effects of the surgery are headache and nausea due to the anesthetic. Pain, soreness and swelling in the area of the scrotum can also result. Another common minor vasectomy reversal complication is blood oozing from the incision, which usually resolves itself within 12 hours following surgery. Here are the more involved vasectomy reversal complications that are possible following a vasectomy reversal procedure:

  • Large bruise or swelling This can develop in the scrotum requiring 4-6 weeks to resolve. Surgery may be required if the bleeding is severe.
  • Hematoma A common vasectomy reversal complication is hematoma. This is an often sizeable collection of blood that is pooled on the scrotum because of a ruptured vessel. It can take months to resolve.
  • Infection of the scrotum which may require oral antibiotics In its most serious form, intravenous administration of antibiotics and hospitalization might be required.
  • Sperm granuloma Are harmless hard lumps that develop if a small amount of sperm leak from the reconnected vas deferens and collect in the surrounding tissue. This causes an inflammatory reaction that could cause pain or disrupt the reconnected site. Anti-inflamatory drugs are prescribed to treat these vasectomy reversal complications. Only occasionally will they have to be removed surgically.
  • Necrosis (death of cells) of the Testis This rare complication can be prevented if identified in the early stages by surgery to restore the blood supply and prevent atrophy. It occurs when there is a lack of blood supplied to the testes due to the blood vessels becoming damaged during the vasectomy reversal procedure.
  • Chronic pain in the scrotum This rare pain may range from mild to severe. Possible causes include pinched nerves or scarring. Additional surgery may be necessary. .
  • Sexual Difficulties This is not due to the surgery itself. It is considered an emotional reaction, that may be related to stress placed on achieving pregnancy. Counselling both the male and female partner can help alleviate this problem. .
  • Other reversal complications Other complications are possible including failure of the surgery for any number of other reasons.

Vasectomy Reversal Failure

Vasectomy reversal failure is possible. There is also a significant possibility of later closure and obstruction of the vas even after a successful vasectomy reversal.

Couples often bank semen specimens as soon as moving sperm appear in the ejaculate, so that if there is a failure they can proceed with invitro fertilization (IVF) at a later time. See Alternatives

For this reason, its worth discussing storing you semen Semen can be retrieved during the reversal procedure for storage. There are facilities available to store sperm in a cyrogenic freezer for a fee.

Vasectomy Reversal Risks

Of course, all surgeries carry risk that require sober evaluation. When you see your vasectomy reversal doctor for the first time, be sure to go over all possible risks. Vasectomy reversal risk is considered low compared to most surgeries. Compared to the vasectomy procedure, the risk is slightly greater because vasectomy reversals require more time and can result in more bleeding. This has the potential to increase the risk of infection.

One concern to consider, is the risk of cancer, be it prostrate cancer or testicular cancer after a vasectomy reversal. There is no known increase in the risk of developing these cancers as a complication of vasectomy reversal.


We have attempted to provide a list of vasectomy reversal complications. Yes – there is vasectomy reversal risk and vasectomy reversal failure is possible. Should you experience any one of these vasectomy reversal complications, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. The success of this surgery is obviously very important to you and there is no point in taking a chance.

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