Know the basics

What is Vasectomy reversal?

A vasectomy is meant to be a permanent method of male contraception. Reversing a vasectomy is a procedure to rejoin the tubes that were cut during a vasectomy.

The procedure can fail, even if the tubes are rejoined.

Why is Vasectomy reversal performed?

Vasectomy reversal is done when you have had a vasectomy and now want to be fertile.

Understand the risks

What are the risks of Vasectomy reversal?

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).

Are there any alternatives to the operation?

You may want to consider using donor sperm, either from someone you know or from a sperm bank.

It is possible for your doctor to take sperm from one of your testicles using a needle (sperm aspiration). This can be used in IVF treatment.

It is important to understand the risks and complications before having this surgery. If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor or surgeon for more information.

Know what happens

How do I prepare for Vasectomy reversal?

You must discuss to your doctor about your recent medications, your allergies or any of your health conditions. Before having an operation, you will meet your anaesthetist and plan your anaesthetic together. It’s important to follow the instructions about when to stop eating and drinking prior to surgery.

You should be given clear instructions to follow before the operation, including whether you can eat anything in the hours leading up to it. In most cases, you should start fasting about six hours before your procedure. You may be able to drink fluids, such as coffee, until a few hours before your surgery.

What happens during Vasectomy reversal?

The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually takes an hour to 90 minutes.

Your surgeon will usually make two cuts on each side of your scrotum.

They will examine each testicle before finding and freeing up the tubes, and removing any scar tissue. Your surgeon will use an operating microscope to stitch the ends of the tubes back together.

What should I do after receiving vasectomy reversal?

You should be able to go home the same day or the day after.

You should be able to return to work after about a week.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

Your doctor will ask you to give a sample of your semen after six to eight weeks. The sample will be tested to find out if there are any sperm. If there are no sperm, it is unlikely that the operation will be a success.

If the operation fails and you with your partner still want a baby, you should discuss the alternatives with your doctor.

If you have any questions or concerns, please consult with your doctor or surgeon for more information.


What happens after Vasectomy reversal?

As with every procedure, there are some risks. You should ask your surgeon to explain how these risks apply to you.

The possible complications of any procedure include an unexpected reaction to the anaesthetic, excessive bleeding or developing a blood clot (deep vein thrombosis, DVT).

Specific risks of vasectomy reversal include:

  • Infection at the site of surgery;
  • Fluid buildup in the scrotum (hydrocele) that may require draining;
  • Injury to the arteries or nerves in the scrotum.

You can reduce your risk of complications by carefully following your doctor’s instructions for preparing for the surgery, such as fasting and stopping certain medications.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Review Date: September 6, 2018 | Last Modified: September 6, 2018

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