Vasectomy Warning: Oral Contact is a Vector for Invasive GAS Disease
An invasive GAS disease warning for vasectomy patients to avoid oral sexual contact during healing from surgery is published in a recent report from the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
Doctors Krishna Ramaswamy and Jed Kaminetsky report in a recent issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine their discovery of an unusual case where a vasectomy patient develops a Group A Streptococcus (GAS) infection shortly after his vasectomy surgery.
Group A Streptococcus is a bacterium typically found on the skin or inside the mouth in cases of strep throat infection. While a GAS infection is generally not cause for alarm and is easily treated, it can turn serious to the point of becoming life-threatening. If the bacterium enters into the tissues or bloodstream it becomes what is then termed an “invasive GAS disease.”
Two of the most infamous of invasive GAS diseases are necrotizing fasciitis and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS). Known as the flesh-eating bacteria, necrotizing fasciitis is a progressive disease that destroys the body’s tissues. STSS, on the other hand, results in a rapid decrease in blood pressure and organ failure. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 10%-15% of patients with invasive Group A streptococcal disease die from their infection.
According to the authors of the report, a vasectomy patient returned one week following his surgery with signs and symptoms of a bacterial infection to his genital region. After culturing a swab sample from the vasectomy wound they discovered that the patient had contracted a Group A streptococcal infection. Upon interviewing the patient they found that the patient and his wife had engaged in oral sex the day following the vasectomy surgery. A sample of pharyngeal mucosa was obtained from his spouse and it was also found to be positive for Group A Streptococcus. Both patient and spouse were successfully treated with antibiotics.
The authors of the report state that this is the first reported instance of a vasectomy infection resulting from oral sexual contact and believe that it is important that doctors educate patients about the dangers of a potentially devastating post-vasectomy complication related to sexual activity.
Source: “Unique Infective Complication after Routine Vasectomy: A Case Report” The Journal of Sexual Medicine Volume 8, Issue 9, pages 2655–2658, September 2011