A vasectomy is considered a permanent method
birth control. Vasectomy reversal (vasovasostomy)
reconnects the tubes (vas deferens) that were cut during a
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.
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.
surgery is more complicated and takes more time when blockage between the vas
deferens and the
epididymis requires correction
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
Vasectomy reversal is done when
you have had a vasectomy and now want to be fertile.
Chances of a successful vasectomy
reversal decline over time. Reversals are more successful during the first 10
years after vasectomy.1
Risks of vasectomy reversal include:
Before a vasectomy reversal is
done, your doctor will want to confirm that you were fertile before your
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.
Complete the surgery information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you prepare for this surgery.
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.
December 7, 2011
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
& Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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