A vasectomy is a very effective permanent birth control option for men. Although it is regarded as “permanent” it can be reversed. About 6-10% of men who have had a vasectomy change their minds.
Change of heart, new relationship, and other factors are some of the reasons men want to restore fertility or reverse a vasectomy. A very small number of men get a vasectomy reversal to relieve testicular pain that may be linked to a vasectomy.
A vasectomy reversal is a more complicated procedure than a vasectomy. It is a surgery to “undo” a vasectomy. A vasectomy involves surgically cutting or blocking the vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the ejaculatory duct. A vasectomy “reversal” is a surgical procedure in which the two ends of the vas deferens are reconnected or sewn back together. This will reestablish the channel through which sperm travel and allow sperm to pass into the ejaculatory duct again. After a successful reversal patients can begin trying to achieve pregnancy.
How long is the recovery time following a vasectomy reversal?
The recovery time for vasectomy reversals varies. It can take anywhere from 5 – 14 days. Patients should avoid doing anything strenuous including lifting heavy objects and sexual intercourse during the first 4 weeks following surgery.
What are the pregnancy success rates for a vasectomy reversal?
After a successful vasectomy reversal, sperm are present in the semen and you may be able to achieve pregnancy with your partner. Pregnancy success rates following a vasectomy reversal range from 60-70%. Other factors that will affect success rates include age and fertility of both partners, as well as the number of years since time of vasectomy. When it has been more than 10 years since vasectomy the pregnancy rates afterward drop off.
What are the risks of having a vasectomy reversal?
Vasectomy reversals rarely lead to serious risks or complications. These risks include:
- Bleeding within the scrotum
- Infection which is always a risk with any type of surgery
- Chronic pain (which is very uncommon)
The biggest risk is it does NOT guarantee a pregnancy. Factors that may affect the chances of conceiving are sperm quality and the female’s fertility. Factors affecting female fertility includes age and quality of her eggs.
What should you expect before having a vasectomy reversal?
Before the procedure you will have a physical exam to determine if you are healthy enough to have surgery. It is important that the female partner is also examined and tested to determine the probability of her becoming pregnant. Should the female be the factor preventing pregnancy assisted reproductive technology may be a better treatment option.
Is a vasectomy reversal performed in a hospital setting?
At Washington Urology our surgeries are performed in our state licensed, Medicare certified Ambulatory Surgical Center, adjoining our clinic in Bellevue, WA. By having our own surgery center patients are more comfortable and can have their procedure done at a much lower cost than a hospital. Further holding down the cost is the fact that this is done with sedative medicines through an IV and local anesthetic injected into the skin and not done under general anesthesia administered by an anesthesiologist.
When considering cost it will be helpful to specifically ask “what other costs will I incur beyond the quoted vasectomy reversal cost? Will there be a hospital facility fee? Will there be an anesthesiologist fee?”
What are the benefits of having a vasectomy reversal at Washington Urology?
When it comes to restoring fertility and having a baby “experience never mattered more”.
1. Our Doctors
Dr. Martin Wall is certified by the American Board of Urology and is licensed to practice medicine in Washington, Missouri, and California.
Dr. Wall has been successfully practicing urology since 1996 while performing hundreds of successful vasectomy reversals. He is highly regarded and recommend by his patients, peers and other physicians. A highly experienced surgeon will increase the probability of having a successful outcome, taking home a baby.
What patients are saying about Dr. Martin Wall
“Dr. Wall performed a vasectomy reversal procedure in the beginning of October 2016. And I am happy to announce the procedure was a success and my wife is due in October 2017. Dr. Wall and his staff did a great Job. Thank You.”
2. Costs and our Surgery Center
By having our own surgery center patients can save a significant amount of money as hospital surgery centers are much more expensive. In addition, it is a more relaxed and comfortable environment with our own staff there to make sure patients have a positive experience. As mentioned above, having this done in our surgery center will avoid the 2 added on expenses incurred in having this done in a hospital and having an anesthesiologist provide general anesthesia.
During the Procedure
The procedure itself can be done using two methods depending the patient.
The first method is vasovastomy. This procedure involves restoring or sewing the vas deferens from the testes back together.
When the vasovastomy method is not likely to work, your surgeon may recommend a vasoepididymostomy. This method attaches the vas deferens to the small organ at the back of each testicle that holds sperm. It’s far more difficult than a vasovasostomy.
Vasectomy reversals are performed in our surgery center which is attached to our Bellevue office. You will be given IV sedative medicines and local anesthetic and will not feel any pain during the procedure. Surgery takes about 2-4 hours and you will go home the same day.
After the Procedure
The area affected by incisions will be bandaged. Tight fitting undergarments are recommended including athletic support. Applying ice over the next 24-48 hours will help to reduce swelling. As the anesthesia wears off, you may feel some pain.
Patients are typically sore for a few days. A prescription will be written for pain killer, but many patients will have satisfactory management of discomfort with ibuprofen or other over-the-counter medicines. Bandages should remain in place or as instructed by your physician. Stitches will dissolve on their own in about 2 weeks. Patients should limit their activity and minimize anything else that may cause the testes to move.
Sexual intercourse is not recommended the first 2 or even 3 weeks following the procedure. You doctor will provide you with instructions. Patients with desk jobs should be able to return to work after a few days.
Should I get a vasectomy when the female is older?
A female’s age is the biggest factor to consider in determining fertility. The younger the female, the more likely a reversal will be successful.
In-vitro fertilization (IVF) success rates begin to decline at 35 and above. IVF success rates decline from a 45% successful live birth rate at 35 years to only 5% at 40 years and 0% at 45 years.
Before making a decision, the female partner should have a thorough assessment of her fertility.