Vasectomy Reversal

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Vasectomy reversal — or vasovasostomy — is a surgery that restores a man’s ability to make a woman pregnant. This procedure is performed by the microsurgical reweaving of the tube that was severed when the original vasectomy was performed. This tube, called the vas deferens, allows the sperm to pass from the testes to the penis during ejaculation.

This procedure is for men who wish to reconsider their original decision to have a vasectomy.

Description of a Vasectomy Reversal

Vasectomy reversal consists of microsurgical reconstruction of the vas deferens, which was cut during vasectomy. Your doctor uses precise microsurgical techniques that use a very thin operating microscope and sutures to carefully realign the tube.

The vasectomy reversal procedure takes about an hour to an hour and a half. You can expect some soreness for a few days after the procedure. Your doctor may prescribe pain medication.

Post-procedure Care

Vasectomy reversal is performed through a very small (less than one inch) incision in the scrotum. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis with patients leaving the surgery center the same day.

After surgery:

  • Wear a scrotal support (jock strap) for a week and decrease vigorous activity for two weeks.
  • You can get around the house for activities of daily living the same day as their surgery.
  • Ice packs and pain medication can be used for the first two days after surgery for comfort.
  • Refrain from ejaculating for 21 days following the vasectomy reversal procedure.

What is the Chance for Success?

Success can be defined by the presence of sperm in the ejaculate after surgery or by pregnancy. Other factors that influence success are the time since vasectomy, patient age and the quality of the fluid found in the vas deferens during the surgery. Overall success at obtaining sperm after surgery exceeds 95% for men less than 10 years after vasectomy.

Vasectomy Reversal Risks

If you are planning to have a vasectomy reversal, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Infection
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Bleeding
  • Chronic pain in and around the testes
  • Sperm granuloma (lumps due to immune system response to sperm leaking from the reproductive organs)

Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Local infections
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Prior surgery in that area

After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding or discharge from the incision site
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Pain that you cannot control with the medicines that you have been given

In case of an emergency, call 911.


Content was created using EBSCO’s Health Library. Edits to original content made by Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice.