Vasectomy recovery - hints and tips for being a good wife
December 9, 2015 12:55 AM   Subscribe

So the bloke is having the snip tomorrow, and I want to be supportive and do whatever I can to make his recovery as easy as possible. I've read this post which was super helpful, but I still have a couple of questions...

Gel icepack x 2 - check
Frozen peas - check (well, he opened the frozen peas tonight for dinner, but we have two unopened packs of frozen sweetcorn, which I figure is the same thing)
Tylenol - check
4 days off work - check (him, not me)
Netflix - check
Fallout 4 - check
Beer - check
Sweatpants to wear home - check (he doesn't own sweatpants, so he's bringing pajamas - it's okay, I'm driving, so no-one will see him wearing his shark pajamas in public)

Jockstrap - will the hospital provide one? (We have good insurance and I got an ankle brace for no co-pay just last month) Or do I need to go get one? If in doubt, I'm happy to go get one, but I have NO idea where to start. Sports store? What do I ask for? Are there different kinds? If so, what kind is best for post-vasectomy support?

Tighty-whiteys? The bloke is a boxers man, but the internet suggests that he may want some of these post-surgery. I read that he should go a size down to ensure support - is that good advice?

Is there anything else that I can do to make his recovery easier / less unpleasant?

Thank you all!
posted by finding.perdita to Health & Fitness (22 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
When Mr. Fig had his done, the recovery was minimal. He went for a run 2 days later (I wouldn't recommend this, I'm pretty sure that it was against Dr orders). He wore supportive underwear for a few days, no jockstrap ever. I think going a size down in underwear would make it uncomfortable around the waist more than anything.

I think what you have already sounds pretty comprehensive. Good luck!
posted by Fig at 2:03 AM on December 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

When my husband had this done he was fine by the end of day two. He didn't wear a jockstrap, just his regular boxer briefs.
posted by amro at 2:13 AM on December 9, 2015

Over the weeks after the procedure, he will have to produce samples, at least two. It is possible to do it himself. It is more fun if he has help.
posted by megatherium at 3:58 AM on December 9, 2015 [7 favorites]

I would go easy on the beer. The fewer trips to the bathroom the better.
posted by bleston hamilton station at 4:01 AM on December 9, 2015

I had a haematoma after mine - after not doing anything ridiculous like going cycling, but I wasn't super cautious either. It wasn't dangerous - or even particularly uncomfortable - but still kind of unpleasant, and I would recommend taking precautions to avoid it. Supportive undies; minimal strain and a couple of days to just kick back and relax.

Infections are a risk as well - keeping the wound site clean is important, and he might not particularly feel like taking a really close look at it for a week or two. You could probably help out there if you felt up to it.
posted by bifter at 4:46 AM on December 9, 2015

Please don't serve him beer if you are giving him Tylenol. It's a risk for liver and kidney damage.
posted by JoeZydeco at 4:58 AM on December 9, 2015 [5 favorites]

My husband only took one day off work (he could have taken more, but felt fine afterward). Recovery for everyone I know has been minimal, so I think you have things under control!
posted by gaspode at 5:26 AM on December 9, 2015

Yeah, I think for the vast majority of guys, recovery is really not that big a deal. I had it done on a Friday and was back to work with no problems on Monday. Just a couple pairs of briefs should be fine, and I'd go with his regular size for now.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:48 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Is there a medical reason for Tylenol instead of an actual anti-inflammatory? Ibuprofen will offer more comfort.

I would not count on the urologist having an array of appropriately sized athletic supporters, find one ahead and make sure it fits. Grabbing a 3-pack of boxer-briefs wouldn't be a terrible idea.

I was a good wife by keeping the pets away from him for a couple days, but really my biggest priority was keeping him from doing that "being told to rest is a dare to do as much dumb shit as possible as soon as possible" thing. He still ended up with a twinge that took a year to resolve completely.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:19 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Is there a medical reason for Tylenol instead of an actual anti-inflammatory? Ibuprofen will offer more comfort.

My husband's doctor told him Tylenol specifically because the other NSAIDs have more of a blood thinning effect. He barely had to take any at all, though - like everyone else is saying, the recovery was basically a non-event. The biggest problem is the boredom associated with taking it extremely easy for two days.
posted by something something at 6:28 AM on December 9, 2015

From my personal experience, the jockstrap wasn't that necessary.

I went and got one from Target and it was nice and snug, but once you jam the icepack in there it got too tight. I'll also recommend a pair of briefs that's not too loose. Or you can double-up two pairs of briefs and that gives really good support and stability.
posted by JoeZydeco at 6:43 AM on December 9, 2015

When I had mine, it really wasn't a big deal afterward. I wear boxers. It was sore for a couple days, like I had overexerted myself down there somehow. But that was about it.

I'm sure he'll appreciate some pampering, though.
posted by 2N2222 at 6:48 AM on December 9, 2015

Nthing not a big deal for recovery imho, but assuming you have little ones, be prepared to sacrifice yourself like the Secret Service to the President, in order to keep them from jumping in his lap. Trust me on this one.
posted by liquado at 7:22 AM on December 9, 2015 [6 favorites]

When I had mine done, the pharmacy had jockstraps for sale. I didn't think I'd need one for my recovery but I was COMPLETELY wrong. The slightest movement resulted in shooting pains, so I'd recommend getting one to stay on the safe side.

I was back to work within a few days, but not back to regular physical activity for at least a few weeks.
posted by Twicketface at 7:32 AM on December 9, 2015

Do not use ibuprofen.
posted by odinsdream at 7:48 AM on December 9, 2015

My guy did not need/want a jockstrap but just wore briefs home from the procedure. He was laid up for a day or two and then mostly back to normal. There was some IMPRESSIVE bruising but otherwise he felt decent. Agreed that having to produce "samples" to check for the all-clear is the most annoying process of all of this (ours took longer than it should) so approach that with an upbeat attitude but also make sure he's being thorough about it.

The most important thing, based on a number of people i know who have had them is don't be shy about calling the doc's office if something seems weird. Changes are pretty high that everything will be fine but if they say he should be feeling better in a few days and he really doesn't, make some phone calls (or encourage him to) because there are a few things that should be checked on, a few things that should be checked on to make sure everything worked right.
posted by jessamyn at 8:03 AM on December 9, 2015

Remind him not to lift any thing sort of heavy for several days.

The pre-operative sack shaving results in stubble within a few days, although this is not an issue if he regularly shaves. To help with the stubble while the hairs grow back in, consider creating a sack sack. Something like the bottom half of a child's sock with a little draw string. This will keep the boys from bumping around and irritating the stubble.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 8:03 AM on December 9, 2015

Seconding the idea to call the doc with any questions. I had some wound healing issues that were cleared up with a quick phone call. Also, briefs were awesome. The biggest source of pain was motion downstairs, so anything to prevent movement will help, be it a jockstrap or snug briefs. My doc prescribed strong pain meds and an antibiotic. I had a bad reaction to the pain meds, so I took OTC stuff after that.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 8:35 AM on December 9, 2015

My partner is one of the unlucky few who developed some complications. His were related to scar tissue, which bridged to one of his testicles. It left him with a really sore ball, semi-permanently, even after the scar tissue bridge was fixed. It'd take another surgery (which he's not keen on) to potentially ease the pain, but no guarantees (he's not keen). So keep that in mind: if your man feels uncomfortable and gets worried, don't hesitate to drag him back to the doctor against his manly wishes to seem stoic. These things can be addressed more easily sooner than later.

Is there a medical reason for Tylenol instead of an actual anti-inflammatory? Ibuprofen will offer more comfort.

Ibuprofen can interfere with wound healing, strange as that may seem (this is a concern mostly with bone healing, but there's other mechanistic support for the idea that all wound healing may take a ding).
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 8:46 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

I needed two days off work, but still had trouble with swelling the first week, then pretty limited movement the week after that.

I say yes to both jock strap and tighty-whiteys. Help him stay off his feet as much as possible. If you have young kids, keep them away as much as possible. And strongly discourage exercise (jogging and biking for me) for at least two weeks if not a little longer. My doctor gave me Vicodin, which was helpful.
posted by slogger at 10:29 AM on December 9, 2015

Make the things (underpants, frozen things) available, sure, but mine was pretty uneventful and I was 90+% back to normal after a couple days. He may not need them.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 1:46 PM on December 9, 2015

Thank you all for the advice and reassurance. I think I was perhaps a little bit overprepared. Surgery went smoothly, the bloke was given prescription pain meds (so definitely no beer!) but has been forgetting to take them because he's not really in pain, just feeling a bit sore. His boys are slightly swollen and there is some visible bruising around the incision site, but nothing that looks worrying. The hospital gave him a jockstrap which he gets to take off tomorrow and graduate to boxer briefs (normal size) as recommended by lots of you (thanks!). The biggest problem has been convincing him that yes, we do have to throw out the frozen sweetcorn, not because it's been in contact with his man bits, but because it's now been defrosted and refrozen several times...

He has, however, appreciated the pampering, and the excuse to lay on the sofa and relax and not think about doing chores. (It's the least I can do to show my appreciation for his willingness to step up and take responsibility for birth control!) This may sound weird, or sickly sweet, or both, but we've actually had a really lovely couple of days where we've had the opportunity to talk about and demonstrate how much we love and respect each other.
posted by finding.perdita at 11:58 PM on December 10, 2015 [4 favorites]

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