Vasectomy reversal is usually an outpatient procedure (without an overnight stay in the hospital). Spinal or general anesthesia is commonly used to ensure that you stay completely still during the surgery.
The chances of vasectomy reversal success depend on how much time has passed between the vasectomy and the reversal. Over time, additional blockages can form, and some men develop antibodies to their own sperm.
The surgery is more complicated and takes more time when blockage between the vas deferens and the epididymis requires correction (vasoepididymostomy).
Vasectomy reversal usually takes from 2 to 4 hours, followed by a few more hours for recovery from the anesthetic. You can expect to go home the same day.
Pain may be mild to moderate. You should be able to resume normal activities, including sex, within 3 weeks.
Chances of a successful vasectomy reversal decline over time. Reversals are more successful during the first 10 years after vasectomy.1
In general, vasectomy reversal:2
Risks of vasectomy reversal include:
Before a vasectomy reversal is done, your doctor will want to confirm that you were fertile before your vasectomy.
You can have tests to see whether you have sperm antibodies in your semen before and after vasectomy reversal. If there are sperm antibodies in your semen after surgery, your partner is unlikely to become pregnant. In such a case, you may wish to try in vitro fertilization with intracytoplasmic sperm injection.
- Pollack AE, et al. (2007). Female and male sterilization. In RA Hatcher et al., eds., Contraceptive Technology, 19th ed., pp. 361–401. New York: Ardent Media.
- Speroff L, Darney PD (2005). Sterilization. In A Clinical Guide for Contraception, 4th ed., pp. 359–386. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Last Revised: December 7, 2011
Author: Healthwise Staff
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