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How Long To Keep a Bandage On After Vasectomy

“How long do I keep the bandage on after vasectomy?” Is often the first thing I hear after completing the procedure. That and also “Is that it?” The moments after a vasectomy can be a strange feeling.  Most men stand up in a sense of disbelief. “I know something has happened, but it’s still numb’.  It can be a little strange.  

Sometimes men wonder if they need to walk like a cowboy.  They can just walk normally.  There used to be sutures that would sometimes rub, men would do a cowboy walk to avoid the irritation.  The’re no sutures anymore.  We haven’t done vasectomies like that in over a decade.   Sometimes men wonder if they have to be careful bending over.  You shouldn’t go for a run or to the gym but you are fine to move normally.

 After a vasectomy a cotton ball is all you need for a dressing. Men can sometimes be expecting something a bit more dramatic but the wound is on the same scale as a flu needle, or a blood test. So a tiny bandage is for a no scalpel vasectomy. 

After a vasectomy it takes about 24 hours for the skin to heal over.  It is important to keep the bandage on for at least this long after a vasectomy.  The skin will be a little wet from the antiseptic spray.  We use a combination of two powerful antiseptics Chlorhexidine and Cetrimide.  This combination has several advantages over some other antiseptics.  It wont stain your clothes (or skin).  Not only does it kill germs but it will also keep killing germs over night.  I would recommend you don’t have a shower for 24 hours. That way you are letting the antiseptic protect the wound while the skin heals.  How long you keep the bandage on after vasectomy can also help protect you from any infection.  

You should keep the bandage on for at least 24 hours after the vasectomy.  The day after your vasectomy, when you have a shower,  you may find a small dot of blood on the cotton ball (like if you had a blood test).  That is completely normal.    You can simply throw the bandage into the bin, have a shower, pat dry the area and put on fresh underwear. That’s generally how long to keep the bandage on after a vasectomy.   You can always keep a bandage on for longer after a vasectomy.  It won’t do any harm.  If you have some sterile cotton balls or gauze you could use these but a bandaid is probably a better option at this stage. 

Occasionally men forget to wear briefs and so a cotton ball is not going to work as a bandage. In these cases I’ll use a bandaid.  Bandaids are alright but have two draw backs.  Scrotal skin contracts and relaxes, so most bandaids lift off the skin.  The skin is also wet from the antiseptic immediately after a vasectomy, so bandaids have a tricky time sticking to the skin.  How long to keep the bandage on after a vasectomy may change if the bandage gets dirty.  It is normal to go to the toilet in the 24 hours following a vasectomy and even with care, the bandage may get a bit dirty or fall on the ground.  If this happens, don’t put it back.  Simply replace the bandage with a sterile cotton ball or gauze,  or a bandaid. They’ll all work fine and will help keep the wound clean while the skin heals over.

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