A primary care physician was named in a lawsuit in West Virginia following a low-cost vasectomy procedure that went awry. The patient, an elderly man, had agreed to the physician’s procedure on the belief that it would be a cheaper alternative to other practitioners. However, the patient’s right testicular vein was nicked during surgery, compromising his blood flow and leading to serious medical complications. A medical expert was called to opine on typical injuries and norms while performing vasectomies.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Do you routinely perform vasectomy?
- 2. If so, have you ever had a patient develop this complication?
Expert Witness Response E-012830
I do routinely perform vasectomies – every Friday, in fact. I have had patients develop scrotal hematomas with prolonged pain from bleeding, but never from nicking the testicular vein, more likely the perivas artery or venous system, both of which are much smaller. Usually these small injuries self-limited and result in swelling and bruising with discomfort that resolves over time, typically a few days or weeks, with no long term or serious complications like the one in this case. Regardless, care must always be taken to avoid these injuries and to treat appropriately when they arise.