Undoing the Permanent: Facts about a Vasectomy Reversal
At some time in the past, you made a permanent decision not to father any more children and had a vasectomy. Now, life circumstances have changed and you and your partner want to have a baby. What can you do about it? Vasectomy reversal surgery is a viable option to make you a dad again.
There are about 600,000 vasectomies done every year in the U.S. Conversely, 5% of men seek a vasectomy reversal annually. There is no guarantee that fertility will be restored by undergoing vasectomy reversal surgery but, according to the American Urology Association, 75-99% of men do have sperm return to their semen and 30-75% of their female partners do become pregnant.
Vacsetomy Reversal Procedure
Vasectomy reversal surgery takes significantly longer to perform than the original vasectomy procedure. The outpatient surgery takes two to four hours and is done by an experienced urologist or men's health specialist. Either general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation will be administered. The surgery is done using the guidance of a strong surgical microscope to reattach the previously severed vas deferens or sperm ducts. Similar incisions to the vasectomy are made on the scrotum to expose the severed ends of the vas deferens. The tedious task of reattaching the ends takes patience and skill on the part of the surgeon.
After surgery, a dressing and jockstrap, to create pressure on the incisions, will be applied. Pain medication and intermittent ice packs to the scrotum will help control the discomfort and swelling. Most patients report that the pain after a vasectomy reversal is similar to what they experienced after the original vasectomy. The stitches will dissolve in about ten days.
What are the limitations after surgery? These are general guidelines. Check with your attending physician for specific instructions.
- Keep incisions dry for at least two days; no shower or swimming.
- Continue to wear a supportive jockstrap for several weeks.
- Avoid sports, including golf and hiking, for at least one week
- No heavy lifting, nothing more than 15 pounds, for about three weeks.
- No sex or ejaculation for an average of two to four weeks.