A vasectomy is a surgical procedure that makes a man infertile and once thought to be irreversible. Half a million men a year in the U.S. choose this option either to stop from having any more children or to keep from having any children at all. With the right amount of skill, however, the procedure can sometimes be reversed.
A vasectomy reversal option should only be considered after doing extensive research. You may find the vasectomy reversal option is a good, albeit expensive, option for any man who has had a vasectomy and now wishes to have children. You should know, however, that the procedure is not guaranteed, is very expensive and often contains more pain and down time than the original procedure.
The Two Types of Vasectomy Reversal
There are two types of vasectomy reversal: vasovasostomy and vasoepididymostomy. Vasovasostomy is when the surgeon sews the cut ends of the vas deferens back together. This is the most common type of vasectomy reversal. Vasoepididymostomy is more complicated, but is performed when there is blockage in the epididymis. It is done by attaching the vas deferens to the epididymis.
Length of Time
There is a correlation between the time your vasectomy was performed, and the time you want to have a vasectomy reversal. A vasectomy reversal is something that is done at least a year or so after the vasectomy itself. Research shows that almost five percent of the 500,000 men who opt for vasectomy every year later opt for the vasectomy reversal procedure.
The longer you wait to have the vasectomy reversal done the more your chances decrease of being able to regain your fertility. Within three years after your vasectomy your chances are higher to get your fertility back. After three years your chances begin decreasing slowly the longer you wait. While there is no period of time considered too long to perform a vasectomy reversal, the sooner you do so after your vasectomy the better the chances are that you will be able to father a child.
Talk to Your Doctor
Before even you even think of reversing the vasectomy, you should consider very hard the necessity of doing so, and the benefits of it. Besides that, consult with your doctor or your personal physician who will guide you through all the tests to determine whether you are fit to take on another surgery.
The subsequent procedures are more complicated, compared to the vasectomy itself. And that is why the doctor needs to see whether you fit the requirements to undergo another surgery.
When seeking someone to perform a vasectomy reversal it’s a good idea to seek out a vasectomy reversal specialist to consult with. The reason for this is because you want the person performing the procedure to be very familiar and proficient with the techniques involved. It is critical that you choose a surgeon who is well versed in microsurgical techniques if you want the procedure to be successful. It is also important to ask your surgeon of choice if he/she can do a vasoepididymostomy with an operating microscope. The surgeon also needs to have experience in checking out the quality of the vas fluid, figuring out the best location to do the vasoepididymostomy, as well as, assessing the signs of epididymal blockage.
What Medical Breakthrough Makes Vasectomy Reversal Possible
The medical breakthrough which makes vasectomy reversal possible is the relatively new development of microsurgical techniques. Prior to the discovery of these techniques vasectomy reversal was thought to be too complicated, as well as unlikely to help men who had a vasectomy regain their fertility. Microsurgery or the use of an operating microscope during surgery allows the surgeon to see the vas deferens in much greater detail and as such to perform the vasectomy reversal with much greater success.
According to recent studies after vasovasostomy sperm is present in semen in about 85-97 percent of men. About fifty percent successfully father a child after the procedure. In the case of vasoepididymostomy sperm shows up in the semen in about sixty-five percent of the men. Only about twenty percent achieve fatherhood after this procedure.
The primary mitigating factor in the vasectomy reversal success or failure of the vasectomy reversal surgery is the amount of time that has passed between when the vasectomy was first performed and the date of the vasectomy reversal surgery.
In general, a vasectomy reversal surgery will have a vasectomy reversal success rate of less than fifty percent. The further amount of time that passes will reduce the rate of success to less than that. So, if a significant amount of time has passed, men considering such a surgery must realize the possibility of the procedure failing and seriously weigh their decision to continue.
These are some of the issues you should consider should you choose to have a vasectomy reversal. The procedure is not guaranteed to restore your fertility, but should you decide the have the procedure done by a reputable surgeon versed in microsurgical techniques, your chances are good.