What is vasectomy reversal?

Vasectomy reversal is a surgical procedure where the cut ends of the vas deferens are reconnected to reestablish the flow of sperms.

Vasectomy is a method of permanent contraception for men. Sperms are produced in the testes and stored in the epididymis. Sperms move from the epididymis to the prostate through the two vas deferens and is ejaculated out through the penis. During vasectomy the two vas deferens are cut, thus obstructing the flow of sperms.

Vasectomy reversal is a microsurgical technique. It is done under an operating microscope which magnifies the surgical area upto 16 times and using miniature instruments. There are two methods of vasectomy reversal: vasovasostomy and >vasoepididymostomy. Vasovasostomy is the more common procedure of vasectomy reversal and has a higher success rate than vasoepididymostomy.

male reproductive system

How common is vasectomy reversal?

Each year about 500,000 men undergo vasectomy in the United States. Of them, about 1-65% eventually want vasectomy reversal. The reasons for requesting vasectomy reversal maybe remarriage following divorce or death of the spouse, death of a child or improved financial circumstances allowing for more children.

How successful is vasectomy reversal surgery?

With the use of microsurgical techniques, the success rate of vasectomy reversal has greatly increased. Statistical studies have shown that sperms appear in the semen of 85-97% of men who undergo microsurgical vasovasostomy. Approximately 50 percent of couples subsequently achieve a pregnancy. These rates are significantly lower for men who undergo a microsurgical vasoepididymostomy.

Glossary of terms used in this page:

Epididymis: Epididymis is a tube-like structure which connects the testis and the vas deferens. The sperms are stored and matured in the epididymis.

Sperms: Sperms are male reproductive cells. They are produced in the testes. They are carried in fluid called semen. Sperms are capable of fertilising an egg cell to form a zygote.

Testes: Testes (singular=testis) are the male gonads. They are situated in the scrotum. They produce sperms and the male hormone, testosterone.

Vas deferens: Vasa deferentia are thin tubes which carry sperms from the testes to the urethra. Vas deferens is also known as sperm duct. Each vas deferens is about 45 cms long.

Vasovasostomy: Vasovasostomy is a method of vasectomy reversal surgery where the two cut ends of the vas deferens are reconnected.

Vasoepididymostomy: Vasoepididymostomy is a method of vasectomy reversal surgery where the vas deferens is connected to the epididymis.

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Next Preoperative considerations which influence the success of vasectomy reversal.