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What is a Vasectomy Reversal?

Vasectomy reversal is a procedure to reconnect the vas deferens that were cut during a vasectomy After a successful vasectomy reversal, sperm are again present and you may be able to get your partner pregnant.

How it Works

Vasectomy reversal is a technically challenging operation that requires specialized skills and expertise. During the reversal, the vas deferens—the tubes that carry sperm from each testicle—are sewn back together or attached to the epididymis (the coiled tube on the back of each testicle where sperm matures).

There are two surgical techniques used to perform vasectomy reversals: vasovasostomy and vasoepididymostomy. In most cases, the surgeon will decide which procedure is most appropriate during the operation, and you may need a combination of both techniques.

Vasovasostomy (pronounced vas-o-vay-ZOS-tuh-me)

With this procedure, the surgeon sews the ends of the tubes that were cut during the vasectomy (vas deferens) back together. However, this may not reestablish the sperm flow, in which case the surgeon will perform the vasoepididymostomy technique.

Vasoepididymostomy (pronounced vas-o-ep-ih-did-ih-MOS-tuh-me)

This surgery attaches the tube that carries sperm from each testicle to your semen (vas deferens) directly to the epididymis (the coiled tube on the back of each testicle where sperm matures). This surgery is used when sperm flow is blocked and a vasovasostomy won’t work.

Vasectomy Reversal Success Rates

In general, about 85-95% of men who undergo a vasectomy reversal have a return of sperm after the procedure. The chance of spontaneous pregnancy; however, is lower. This depends on the quality of sperm, the fertility potential of the female partner, and other factors such as the patient’s age, health, and environmental exposures.

The success rate of vasectomy reversal and the return of sperm after the procedure depends on several factors including:

  • The length of time since vasectomy
  • Experience and skill of the surgeon
  • Patient’s adherence to post-surgical instructions
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