Vasectomy: Is there anything I can do about the pain?

"I'm 61 and had a vasectomy in 1984. I was in great pain for a fortnight after the operation. Four years after the op I had another six-month bout of pain. I had ultrasound scans which did not show anything abnormal. Since April 2007 I have been in pain again. My PSA prostate test is normal. When the pain occurs there is a swelling of the testicle and epididymis. Is there anything I can do?"

Dr Fred Kavalier answers your health question:

Pain after a vasectomy is often associated with a build-up of fluid and pressure in the testicle and epididymis. If, when you had your vasectomy, the vas was cut and closed with a metal clip, the clip may be preventing the release of sperm and fluid from the testicle. As fluid collects it can cause a soft swelling and pain. There are several ways of blocking this pain but the solution may be surgery. One option is using microsurgery to reverse the vasectomy. Talk to a good urologist.

Please send your questions and suggestions to A Question of Health, 'The Independent', Independent House, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS; fax 020-7005 2182 or e-mail to Dr Kavalier regrets he is unable to respond personally to questions.