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J Urol. 2000 Dec;164(6):1939-42.

Vasectomy reversal for the post-vasectomy pain syndrome: a clinical and histological evaluation.

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  • 1Urological Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The cause of the post-vasectomy pain syndrome is unclear. Some postulated etiologies include epididymal congestion, tender sperm granuloma and/or nerve entrapment at the vasectomy site. To our knowledge nerve proliferation has not been evaluated previously as a cause of pain. Vasectomy reversal is reportedly successful for relieving pain in some patients. We report our experience and correlate histological findings in resected vasal segments with outcome to explain the mechanism of pain in these patients.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

We retrospectively reviewed the records of 13 men who underwent vasectomy reversal for the post-vasectomy pain syndrome. We compared blinded histological evaluations of the vasal ends excised at vasectomy reversal in these patients with those of pain-free controls who underwent vasectomy reversal to reestablish fertility. Controls were matched to patients for the interval since vasectomy. Histological features were graded according to the degree of severity of vasitis nodosum, chronic inflammation and nerve proliferation.

RESULTS:

Mean time to pain onset after vasectomy was 2 years. Presenting symptoms included testicular pain in 9 cases, epididymal pain in 2, pain at ejaculation in 4 and pain during intercourse in 8. Physical examination demonstrated tender epididymides in 6 men, full epididymides in 6, a tender vasectomy site in 4 and a palpable nodule in 4. No patient had testicular tenderness on palpation. Unilateral and bilateral vasovasostomy was performed in 3 and 10 of the 13 patients, respectively. Postoperatively 9 of the 13 men (69%) became completely pain-free. Mean followup was 1.5 years. We observed no differences in vasectomy site histological features in patients with the post-vasectomy pain syndrome and matched controls, and no difference in histological findings in patients with the post-vasectomy pain syndrome who did and did not become pain-free postoperatively.

CONCLUSIONS:

No histological features aid in identifying a cause of pain or provide prognostic value for subsequent pain relief. Vasectomy reversal appeared to be beneficial for relieving pain in the majority of select patients with the post-vasectomy pain syndrome.

PMID:
11061886
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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