A vasectomy reversal is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that restores the flow of sperm to the urethra and to semen, making it possible for men to get women pregnant. The procedure also is known as a vasovasostomy or vasovasectomy.
A vasectomy reversal undoes a vasectomy, a surgical procedure that provides birth control for men.
A urological surgeon performing a vasectomy reversal either reattaches the cut ends of the vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the urethra, or connects one end of the vas deferens to the part of the testicle where mature sperm are stored. This usually is an in-office procedure. General anesthesia may be used.
Men seeking a vasectomy reversal have two options.
Conventional vasectomy reversal
A small cut is made in the side of the scrotum. The closed ends of the vas deferens are located. A fluid sample is taken from the closed end closest to the testicle to search for sperm. If sperm are found, the two closed ends are reattached.
Microsurgical vasectomy reversal
A high-powered microscope magnifies the closed ends of the vas deferens. Stitches as small as an eyelash are used, reducing scarring. If no sperm are found, the epididymis or vas deferens is blocked. In this case, the upper part of the vas deferens is attached to the epididymis, bypassing the blockage. This procedure restores the flow of sperm in more than 75 percent of all reversals.
Most vasectomy reversal patients go home the same day. Recovery usually takes about one to three weeks. It takes about three months after a vasectomy reversal for sperm to begin reappearing in semen. If a blockage is bypassed, it can take up to 15 months for sperm to begin reappearing in semen.
A successful vasectomy reversal does not guarantee that a pregnancy will occur.
It typically takes one year for pregnancy to occur after a vasectomy reversal. Best results occur when a vasectomy reversal is done shortly after a vasectomy. The likelihood of a pregnancy occurring decreases when there is more time between a vasectomy and a vasectomy reversal.
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