Testicular Sperm Extraction: How to Care for Your Scrotum

As with every surgical procedure, you may feel some tenderness and pain after your testicular sperm extraction (TESE). You may also need to limit your activity for a few days. Here is some information on what you should expect after your procedure. For the fastest recovery, follow your doctor’s instructions.

What to do on the day of your procedure

Here are a few steps that you can take before your procedure that will help with your recovery afterwards:

  • Shave your scrotum completely. This will make you more comfortable both during and after the procedure.
  • Wear comfortable, loose clothing to your appointment.
  • Bring your own jock strap, if you have one, to support your scrotum after the procedure. Otherwise your doctor’s office may provide you with one. You can also wear a pair of tight briefs.
  • You may have difficulty sitting or walking after the procedure, so arrange for someone else to drive you home.

What to expect after your procedure

Physical Symptoms
You may have some discomfort after the procedure, along with other common symptoms. You do not need to contact your doctor unless they are severe or concern you.

  • Bruising of your scrotum or the base of your scrotum. This will go away in about a week.
  • Minor swelling of the scrotum. This may take several days or weeks to go away. You can apply a cold pack to the scrotum over a towel to reduce the swelling. Only keep the cold pack on the scrotum for 20 minutes at a time, with at least a 20 minute break in between. Do this only for the first 24 hours after your procedure.
  • Draining of a little bit of clear, pinkish fluid from the incision. This should stop after a few days. To reduce the risk of infection, keep the area clean and dry.
  • Symptoms from general anesthesia, if you had it, including nausea, sore throat, constipation or body aches. These should disappear within 2 days.

Eating and Drinking

  • Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated.
  • You can resume a normal, healthy diet when you return home. If you have nausea, start by eating easy-to-digest foods like broth or soup. Avoid spicy or greasy foods.

Pain Medication

  • Your doctor may prescribe a medication for pain, such as Vicodin. Take it as directed, but not with other pain medications.
  • If your pain is not very severe, you can take over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol.
  • Avoid pain medications that might increase your risk of bleeding, including aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) or naproxen (Aleve).

Bandages and Scrotal Support

  • Your doctor will let you know when you can remove the bandages, usually 24 hours after your procedure.
  • Avoid getting the bandages wet, such as in the shower or bath, or while swimming.
  • You can shower once you have removed the bandages. Be sure to completely dry the incision area after showering.
  • Your doctor may ask you to wear a scrotal support for 3 to 7 days, removing it only while you shower. After that, you can wear your regular underwear.
  • Your incision will be closed with sutures. These do not need to be removed, but will dissolve on their own within three weeks.

Physical Activity

  • Rest as much as possible, limiting your activity to walking only short distances.
  • You can return to your normal, light activities 48 hours after your procedure.
  • Avoid sexual activity, including masturbation, for the first 4 days.
  • You can resume more vigorous activities after 1 to 2 weeks This includes weightlifting and jogging, but stop doing any activities if they cause discomfort.
  • You can return to work when you feel up to it. If your job involves strenuous activity or a lot of walking, ask your doctor when you can return to work.

When to call the doctor

Call your doctor’s office, or go to the emergency room, if you experience any of the following:

  • Severe bruising of your scrotum or base of your penis, especially with a throbbing pain or a bulge around your scrotum. This could be a sign of bleeding under the skin (hematoma).
  • High fever (101°F or more), chills or shaking, especially if pus is draining from your incision or your scrotum is swollen, red, warm and painful. This could be a sign of an infection.
  • Severe pain that doesn’t go away with medication or other symptoms that concern you.

Updated August 2014

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