Treatment: Vasectomy Reversal

A vasectomy reversal is a surgical procedure which is most commonly done to restore fertility, and occasionally to treat testicular pain after a vasectomy.

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What is a vasectomy reversal?

A vasectomy is a surgical form of male birth control where the tubes that carry sperm (vas deferens) are cut and closed off, stopping the supply of sperm to your semen.

A vasectomy reversal undoes this procedure, reconnecting the tubes and restoring fertility. Any scar tissue is removed, the ends of the vas deferens are aligned and reconnected to allow sperm to flow again from your testicles to your penis. 

 

Why might you need to have a vasectomy reversal?

The main reason for having a vasectomy reversal is to restore fertility. You might want to have this procedure if you have, for example, entered a new relationship and changed your mind about having children or want to have more children.

In rare cases, a vasectomy can cause pain in the testicles, and reversing the vasectomy is one of the options of treatment. 

What does a vasectomy reversal involve?

A vasectomy reversal is usually done under a general anaesthetic, with the addition of a local anaesthetic block. 

Once you’re asleep, your OneWelbeck consultant urological surgeon will make a small incision into your scrotum, often over your original vasectomy scar. 

Your surgeon will pull the vas deferens out of your scrotum and unblock them, and cut away any scar tissue before checking that they still contain fluid / sperm from the testicles. If they do, your surgeon will perform a vasovasotomy using an operating microscope to reconnect the tubes using very small stitches.

If the tubes are 'dry', your surgeon will perform a vasoepididymostomy to attach them directly to a tube called the epididymis that drains sperm from each testicle.

Once the reversal is complete, the tubes are returned into the scrotum and the incision will be closed with a few dissolving stitches.

Most vasectomy reversal procedures take a few hours and are performed on an outpatient basis, so you can go home on the same day.

How should you prepare for a vasectomy reversal?

You can have a virtual or face-to-face consultation with your consultant before the procedure where they will explain what’s involved and answer any questions you may have. The chances  of success pertaining to your individual situation (with time elapsed since the vasectomy, ages, medical history etc taken into account) will be explained to you.  You will discuss why you want to have a vasectomy reversal, what the risks and alternatives are, and how to prepare for the procedure.

Your consultant will also be able to tell you how long your recovery will likely take and when you can get back to your normal activities. 

If you’re having a general anaesthetic you’ll need to stop eating and drinking beforehand. Your consultant will provide guidance on this. 

Risks of a vasectomy reversal

The main risk associated with a vasectomy reversal is that the procedure could not be unsuccessful, and your fertility will not be restored.

The chances of the procedure being successful depend on how long it’s been since your original vasectomy procedure. The longer it has been, the less likely it is that your fertility will be restored.

A successful vasectomy reversal also doesn't guarantee that you and your partner will get pregnant. The chances of getting pregnant after a microsurgical vasectomy reversal are:

  • 75% when the reversal is done within 3 years of the original vasectomy
  • 50-55% within 3 to 8 years 
  • 40-45% within 9 to 14 years
  • 30% within 15 to 19 years
  • less than 10% when done 20 years or more after the original vasectomy

Your consultant will discuss with you what your chances of conceiving are likely to be and will also make you aware of the other risks of a vasectomy reversal including:

  • Infection
  • Swelling
  • Bruising 
  • Pain
  • Haematoma (bleeding within the scrotum that causes painful swelling)
  • Scarring

Recovering from a vasectomy reversal

It's normal to feel some tenderness or discomfort for a few days after a vasectomy reversal. 

The cut will be covered with a dressing and you’ll be sent home with painkillers to help keep you comfortable. 

Your consultant will also give you some aftercare advice, such as wearing supportive underwear and applying cold packs, which can help your recovery. 

Pricing

The full cost of the procedure comes to £4100.This procedure can be covered according to the terms of your medical insurance.

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Vasectomy Reversal Specialists

Our Men's Health specialists are experts in their respective fields, collectively covering a wide range of specialist conditions and treatments for issues such as urology, sexual health, and male-specific cancers.