Vasectomy: The Cruelest Cut Of All

 

VASECTOMY, THE CRUELEST CUT OF ALL: THE MODERN MEDICAL NIGHTMARE OF POST-VASECTOMY PAIN SYNDROME

Vasectomy is widely promoted as a “safe and simple procedure.” Rarely are men or their spouses informed that a life long pain condition, known as Post-Vasectomy Pain Syndrome (PVPS), is caused by the procedure. Months or years after being vasectomized, close to 15% of men will experience pain in one or both testicles, with the pain being severe in approximately 5%. Frequently, the pain is worsened by sex and other physical activities, motivating the sufferer to avoid pleasurable pursuits. Too embarrassed to speak up about the problem, many men suffer in silence, and if they do raise the issue with a physician the problem is often misdiagnosed, particularly when years have passed since the vasectomy. In third world countries where vasectomy is intensely promoted as a “safe and simple procedure,” effective treatment is essentially non-existent. Treatment for PVPS often involves sophisticated microsurgery that is very expensive, not covered by most health insurance plans, and not widely available. For those lucky enough to access treatment there is often no resolution of the pain, as it can recur on the treated side and arise in a seemingly unaffected testicle. Vasectomy: The Cruelest Cut Of All (The Modern Medical Nightmare Of Post-Vasectomy Pain Syndrome) debunks the “safe and simple procedure” myth and calls for an end to vasectomy.

The book was published in 2006, and in many areas of medicine this would mean that much of the information is outdated. However, consistent with how the “safe and simple procedure” rhetoric persists in urology and the larger medical community, an intensive search of the scientific literature almost ten years later failed to reveal any studies that actually significantly advanced our understanding of PVPS. Debate still carries on as to the best treatment, with the same old focus on removal of structures. More encouraging is the experimental application of robotic and computerized controlled surgical techniques, offering the potential of more effective vasectomy reversal in the future.

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REVIEWS

Greg Fournier of the Canadian PVP Association

The book, “Vasectomy, The Cruelest Cut of All,” should be required reading for any man considering a vasectomy, and similarly so for a spouse involved in the vasectomy decision making process. The book will surprise and enlighten every man who has had a vasectomy and who thinks he knows all there is to know about vasectomy. More importantly, the book is an invaluable resource for men with post vasectomy pain syndrome (PVP). Dr. Bowins reviews in layperson’s terms in a logical and well organized fashion the clinical studies to date on PVP. He also provides an empathetic examination of the physical, social, emotional and sexual difficulties that can arise from PVP.

Of interest is Dr. Bowins examination of the reasons why the decision to have a vasectomy is often made without a full appreciation of the risks involved in vasectomy and especially the risk of PVP.  He suggests that proper pre-vasectomy counseling and informed consent are often missing prior to vasectomy but are necessary prerequisites. Of great assistance to the reader is the doctor’s simple and easily understood description of the physiology of a man’s body before, during and after vasectomy. In particular, he explains the physical characteristics and mechanics of post vasectomy pain and the reasons why post vasectomy pain is a natural outcome of vasectomy. Unique to his profession, Dr. Bowins explores the emotional parameters and sexual politics often involved in the decision to have a vasectomy. Through his professional practice he is well qualified to give us his frank and thought provoking ideas on these topics. Congratulations Dr. Bowins on a well written and timely book.

Day “Mo” (Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA) Amazon

I suggest the book for anyone considering vasectomy as it explains many things I should have understood before I went ahead with it.

The book outlines well how the system functions, how it reacts to vasectomy and gives possible ways of fixing the problem.  Through it all he quotes studies which back up his explanations and conclusions.

Understanding how the system functions is important, and alone should draw guys away from the procedure, and leaves me curious as to how urologists can sell it.

I can’t say enough, I’ve spent a year of my life and a small fortune correcting for this mistake.  Read this book, consider his arguments.

There are logical reasons why the public isn’t aware of how dangerous this procedure is, he covers some of them.  The most important: guys don’t typically talk about their parts, even when they hurt.  They are doing other men and society a disservice.  Correctly states that the largest human cost is from the poor and those in poor countries, as they have no other option than to suffer.

TheTaoRunner “Anthony R. Ellis, M.D.” (Michigan, USA) Amazon

Vasectomy can cause chronic pain. The incidence varies and cannot truly be known because most men suffer in silence after this procedure. In some studies I read, ten percent of men regretted having the procedure for a variety of reasons. It seems likely that many men have little or no trouble after vasectomy, but clearly, some do. Don’t get the procedure without reading about the possibility of chronic pain. I think that if men knew the roughly ten to thirty percent likelihood of some form of chronic pain, then fewer would choose this procedure.

Hodgkinson (Berkeley, CA, USA) Amazon

Dr, Bowin’s book is essential reading for any man considering a vasectomy or suffering from testicular pain following a vasectomy. A significant minority of men, at least 1 in 100, have the severest testicular pain after vasectomy. The testicular pain is long-term, possibly lifelong, absolutely continuous, and overwhelmingly severe! Who would ride in a bus that had a 1 in 100 chance of a major accident that would cripple everyone inside and destroy their lives with severe continuous lifelong pain? No one. Similarly no one would choose vasectomy or allow it to be performed on any loved one if properly informed about PVPS and its significant rate of incidence. Dr. Bowin’s book summarizes the papers on post-vasectomy pain in the medical literature and contains a wealth of information. Dr Bowins concludes that, because of the unacceptable complication of a high-rate of severe lifelong testicular pain following vasectomy, vasectomy should be discontinued. History will doubtless look back on vasectomy as a barbaric genital mutilation that cripples many men by placing them in a severe, continuous, lifelong pain. Thank goodness lobotomy was discontinued because it was disabling many people. Vasectomy should follow for the same reasons; severe continuous lifelong pain in the testes is a major disability that is extremely unpleasant and seemingly endless.

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