An average of 3%-6% of men who have a vasectomy opt to have a reversal later.1
This could be due to a variety of reasons; wanting another child, vasectomy regret, as a solution to chronic pain after the vasectomy, etc.
Even though this is considered to be a permanent form of male birth control, medical advancements have made it possible for reversals to be done. In fact, it is possible to have a successful vasectomy reversal procedure after 15 years.2
What exactly does this procedure entail? Here’s all you need to know.
The Vasectomy Reversal Procedure
A vasectomy reversal is as safe as the vasectomy itself and is also an outpatient procedure. On average, it takes less than 2 hours to complete and a high powered microscope is used to magnify the vas deferens tubes up to 40 times their size.
There are 2 main techniques of a vasectomy reversal:
Before the surgery begins, the urologist takes a sample of vasal fluid and tests it for sperm. The presence of sperm in the fluid is an indication that the pathways if the vas deferens are clear, in which case a vasovasostomy will be recommended.
Vasovasotomies are the most common types of vasectomy reversals and pose fewer risks and complications.
This procedure involves trimming the sealed edges of the vas deferens and then reconnecting them back together.
A vasoepididymostomy is a complex procedure in which the urologist connects the vas deferens to the epididymis. This procedure is often recommended after the vasal fluid comes back negative for sperms as this shows there is a blockage in the tubes.
Despite being more demanding than a vasovasostomy, vasoepididymostomy produces almost similar results.
Risks of a Vasectomy Reversal
Vasectomy reversals rarely have serious complications but the most common risks are:
- Infection at the surgical site – when this happens, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics.
- Chronic pain – this is fairly uncommon but if you do experience persistent pain that doesn’t go away, you should seek medical attention.
- Bruising and swelling – this usually resolves itself in a couple of days
- Hematoma – formation of blood clots in the testes that can be avoided if you follow your doctor’s instructions.
Recovery After a Vasectomy Reversal
After the surgery, your doctor will give you the following instructions to fasten recovery:
- Avoid strenuous activity or wetting the surgical area for around 48 house
- Wear a jockstrap or any supportive underwear
- Avoid sexual intercourse until the doctor says it’s okay
- Apply ice on the scrotum to help ease the pain and bruising
Vasectomy Reversal Procedure Results
The results of the reversal aren’t immediate and your doctor will periodically check your semen for sperm to ascertain that the procedure was a success.
On average, you will have to achieve at least 15 or 20 ejaculations before sperm can appear in your semen.
Vasectomy reversals have a high success rate.
Links to sources used
- Vasectomy reversal: a clinical update – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4854082/
- Vasectomy reversal highly effective, even after 15 years – https://news.cornell.edu/stories/2004/02/vasectomy-reversal-highly-effective-even-after-15-years