Services - Vasectomy Reversal
Vasectomy reversal procedures are an effective way to restore fertility for men that have previously undergone a vasectomy or who have obstruction due to infections or other causes. In skilled hands, vasectomy reversals may effectively reconstruct the ‘tubes’ in men with recent vasectomies or those performed many years previously.
Making the decision?
For many couples, it is a difficult decision whether to proceed with IVF or undergo a vasectomy reversal and attempt a natural pregnancy. The bottom line is that this is a decision unique to each couple’s circumstances, needs, and desires. My goal is to provide objective information that will help you and your partner make the best decision for your particular circumstance. In this section, let’s discuss some details that are important.
What is a Vasectomy Reversal?
When a man undergoes a vasectomy, the tube that transports sperm is surgically blocked by transecting the tube, cauterizing the tube, and placing surgical ties or clips. The purpose of a vasectomy reversal is to surgically reconstruct the blocked tube to create a freshly connected, open channel where sperm can be transported once again to the semen, to regain fertility.
Time since vasectomy?
Historically, many believed that vasectomies performed many years ago, >15 years for instance, were not amenable to microsurgical reconstruction. However, we now understand that a secondary blockage of the ‘epididymis’ may occur in cases with increased time since vasectomy. A conventional vasectomy reversal (vasovasostomy) will not work in this scenario; however, astute diagnosis by the surgeon, and a special reconstruction to the epididymal tubules (vasoepididymostomy) can be successful, providing men with a roughly 70% chance of sperm returning to their semen post-operatively. Thus, it is important that both the male and female partner be evaluated in this scenario when many years have passed since the man’s vasectomy, as many factors are important to consider in making the best decision for the couple.
Vasectomy reversal is typically an outpatient surgical procedure. For most men, this will be a day procedure; meaning, that you will arrive at the surgical center, undergo the procedure and leave the very same day. Most centers require that you have a friend or family member that will pick you up from the surgical center and spend at least the next 24 hours with you.
What to expect following the procedure?
Post-operatively, semen analyses will be completed at 1 month following the procedure, and potentially at 3 months, 6 months and 1 year to check for return of sperm. On average, most men will observe sperm in the semen between 1.5 and 6 months following their vasectomy reversal. Upon return of sperm to the ejaculate, some couples may consider cryopreserving a specimen in the event of a late failure, where the reconnection over time scars down.
Abstinence from intercourse is recommended for 4 weeks post-operatively to give enough time for the body to heal the delicate anastomosis. After this time, in most instances, couples can then pursue intercourse to achieve pregnancy, unless other instructions have been given by their physician.
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Flannigan Fertility offers male fertility treatments from our world-class facilities in Vancouver, Canada.