While a vasectomy is a common male sterilization procedure that should be considered a permanent method of birth control, a surgical procedure called a vasovasostomy might restore fertility.
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How It Works
The physician reconnects the ends of the tubes (vas deferens) severed during the vasectomy, allowing sperm to travel from its origin in the testes to the penis.
How It Is Performed
During the procedure, which usually takes two to four hours, the physician makes one or two tiny incisions in the scrotum and reconnects the vas deferens with micro-sutures. Normally, the patient is anesthetized (asleep) through the outpatient procedure.
Pain could be mild to moderate and patients may experience swollen, achy testicles for a week or so after the procedure. Physicians recommend lying down for six to eight hours after the surgery and keeping an ice pack on the incision.
In the five days after surgery, patients should continue using ice packs to limit swelling, rest as much as possible and avoid heavy lifting and exercise. A small, bloody discharge from the incision site is normal. The patient should be able to resume normal activities, including sex, within three weeks.
A vasectomy reversal is a more complex procedure than a vasectomy and it might not be covered by health insurance. The following complications might occur a few days after surgery:
A vasectomy reversal is not guaranteed to restore fertility and success rates tend to decline with time after a vasectomy. Other blockages can form, and some men develop antibodies that could attack their sperm. Success rates are greatest within three years and up to 10 years of a vasectomy. Overall, estimated pregnancy results can range from 50% to as high as 80%.