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Vasectomy Reversal – All you need to know about the procedure

Vasectomy is a male family planning procedure (popularly used verbiage in India) done to a man. This is a simple, short procedure done as an outpatient service by a good sexologist / sex specialist. In this procedure, the tubes carrying the sperm from the testes / epididymis outside the penis are disconnected. As a result, only the sperm free fluid produced by the prostate gland alone gets ejaculated during male orgasm. A successful vasectomy procedure is 100% efficient in preventing pregnancy.

Learn more about Vasectomy and the right candidate for vasectomy, by visiting the following article.

Vasectomy – Birth control surgery for men


Types of Vasectomy:

  1. Conventional Vasectomy – In this type of procedure, a small incision is done in the scrotum to reach the ‘tubes’ (Vas Deferens). The tubes are then disconnected and sealed. Usually the sexologist will be able to reach both the tubes through one incision; in some cases, a second incision may be required to reach the second tube. The cut ends of the tubes will be stitched. The stitches dissolve over time and a scar tissue will form at the ends effectively closing the tubes.
  2. No Scalpel Vasectomy – In this procedure, no incision will be made. Instead, a small hole will be made in the scrotum. The hole will be stretched to reach the tubes. Rest of the procedure will be the same as conventional vasectomy. As no cut is made, there will be minimal blood loss and healing will be faster.

About Vasectomy Reversal

In Vasectomy reversal procedure, the disconnected vas deferens (tubes that carry sperms to the urethra) are reconnected. The reversal procedure can be done up to 20 years after vasectomy procedure is done. However, the sooner it is done, the higher will be the success rates in reversing the disconnection.

After the vasectomy reversal procedure is performed, it usually takes few weeks for the sperm to appear in the ejaculate (seminal fluid). This increases the chances of pregnancy in the man’s female partner. In some cases, the person may have to wait a year for the sperms to appear in the ejaculate (happens when the tubes are blocked or scarred during the vasectomy procedure).  One must note that the success rate in achieving pregnancy after reversing the vasectomy procedure ranges from 30 to 70 but never 100%.  Apart from reconnecting the vas deferens, there are other factors that must be considered to confirm if the man can impregnate a woman again. They include:

  1. The age of the man. (With age, goes down the ability to produce healthy sperms)
  2. The age of the man’s female partner and her fertility.
  3. Fertility of the man. Tests needs to be done if the man has developed azoospermia (absence of sperms), asthenozoospermia (weak sperms that are unable to swim through the seminal fluids), check the shape of the sperms and their motility.
  4. If there was any scar tissue in the disconnected tubes or the epididymis (location where sperms are produced), that too will lead to failure of vasectomy reversal procedure.
  5. Experience of the sexologist – this is highly important because, either for vasectomy or it’s reversal, utmost care and experience is needed.

A healthy and fertile man should be able to impregnate a woman after reversing vasectomy. In case if the sperm is absent in the ejaculated fluid, the doctor will put him under medication to boost the production of sperms. If that too doesn’t work, final option would be sperm mapping. In sperm mapping procedure, sperms will be extracted from the man’s testes and IVF procedure will be used to get his female partner pregnant.

How is Vasectomy Reversal done?

Vasectomy reversal surgery is an outpatient procedure that takes about an hour to complete. The person will be put under local or full body anesthesia.  Any of the following procedures will be used to reconnect the disconnected tubes:

  1. Vasovasostomy – This process involves reconnecting the disconnected tubes. This procedure is done when there are no obstacles found in any of the tubes. There shouldn’t be any scarring on either of the tubes. The tube ends will be put together and stitched.
  2. Vasoepididymostomy – When the vas deferens is disconnected, one part of it will be connected to the epididymis and the other part will be connected into the prostate. If the tube that is connected to the epididymis is clogged or has thick sperm or scarring, this will be not used to reconnect. Instead the other part of the vas deferens is taken and stitched into the epididymis directly.

In some cases, one procedure may be followed for one tube and other may be followed for other tube, depending on the condition of the tubes inside.

What to do after undergoing vasectomy reversal procedure?

  1. The person should not lift any weight and must take complete rest.
  2. Apply ice pack to the area where incision was made in order to reduce swelling and help with pain.
  3. Antibiotics and pain medication may be given by your doctor. The prescription has to be followed till completion.
  4. Tight underwear should be worn so that the movement of testicles is restricted. This helps in quicker healing of the incision site.
  5. Avoid having sex for few weeks. Once the doctor gives a green signal, only then the person should indulge in sexual activities.
  6. If there is any pain, redness and swelling even after a week, the sexologist must be informed and consulted.
  7. In case of any puss or blood leakage with or without fever, or there is any presence of blood clot, the doctor must be consulted.
  8. Numbness or loss of sensation around the scrotum, if any, must be immediately reported.

In order to avoid any complication with any surgery (not just vasectomy or vasectomy reversal), it is important that you contact a very well experienced sexologist in your city. Remember that the cost of vasectomy or reversal procedures differ from clinic to clinic. There are doctors who do a surgery for few thousands and there are some hospitals who charge few lakhs for the same.  A cheaper doctor or an expensive hospital doesn’t guarantee you the best treatment, though both of them claim to be the best. Do your research and take a second opinion where and when necessary.

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