Understanding the Vasectomy Reversal Procedure: How Does it Work?

Couple reading about vasectomy reversal procedure.

Vasectomy vs Reversal

A vasectomy is a type of permanent sterilization, performed on men who do not wish to father any more children. It’s an outpatient procedure that’s minimally invasive, and about 500,000 men in the United States undergo a vasectomy each year. Of that number, about six percent later change their minds and opt for a vasectomy reversal. How do the two procedures differ? And can a vasectomy be successfully reversed? The vasectomy reversal process is much more complicated than a vasectomy, but medical science has made great strides in vasectomy reversal over the past several decades, and the procedure has a success rate of up to 90 percent.

Having a Vasectomy

During a vasectomy, the surgeon cuts and blocks the tubes known as the vas deferens, which are responsible for carrying sperm from the testicles to the semen. After a successful vasectomy, a man’s semen no longer contains sperm, making pregnancy impossible. The procedure itself takes about 30 minutes, is relatively simple, and recovery is quick, with most men able to resume normal activity within a day or two. Sexual relations can even be resumed within just a few days of a vasectomy. Vasectomies are typically covered by insurance.

The Vasectomy Reversal Procedure

Unlike a vasectomy, a vasectomy reversal is not usually covered by insurance. And though the procedure is typically outpatient, it can take three or four hours to complete. It is a complicated microsurgery, in which the surgeon reattaches the severed ends of the tubes to each other. The first step is to identify the level of blockage in the tubes, after which fluid from the vas deferens is collected and analyzed under a microscope. Once this examination is complete, the surgeon decides on one of two vasectomy reversal procedures.

  • Vasovasotomy (VV) involves stitching the cut ends of the vas deferens together. This is the most common and simplest type of reversal.
  • Vasoepididymostomy (VE) reconnects the vas to a point on the epididymis past the blockage. Though this is less common, up to 40 percent of men require this more complicated procedure.

Efficacy of a Vasectomy Reversal

Vasectomy reversals are up to 90 to 95 percent effective. VV procedures typically have higher success rates than VE surgeries, but a vasoepididymostomy still has a success rate of 65 to 70 percent. The reason this procedure is so much more successful than in decades past is because o the advent of microsurgery, in which the procedure is performed with assistance of an operating microscope. A vasectomy reversal is more likely to be successful within 10 years of the original vasectomy procedure.

Center for Vasectomy Reversal Cares About Men’s Health

At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, men’s health is our priority. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their health and fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. Dr. Green has had extensive training in urology, microsurgery, and vasectomy reversal, and he founded the Center for Vasectomy Reversal to provide the highest level of patient care while delivering optimal surgical results. To learn more about how our experienced team can help you reach your reproductive goals, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.