Vasectomy Reversal (Vasovasostomy) Guide

A vasectomy reversal is simply a procedure employed to reverse the effects of a vasectomy. It is done by unblocking any obstructions and reconnecting the tubes which once were cut. It can take anything from 2-4 hours to complete and is considered a preliminary option to achieving fertility, rather than jumping straight into the costly and more difficult area of IVF treatment.

Post Vasectomy Pain Syndrome

This is something which affects a small number of men who have had a vasectomy. It is described as a constant dull pain in the testicles and can be more painful during ejaculation or during sex. Little is known about the causes of this however a vasectomy reversal has shown itself to be effective in reducing the pain, if not completely eradicating it.

Cost of a Vasectomy Reversal

The NHS will rarely offer a Vasectomy Reversal for free however you may be able to gain advice from your local doctor about the right option for you or you can contact a vasectomy reversal surgeon/clinic direct. The vasectomy reversal surgery on its own, may cost £2000-£3000.

Preparing for a Vasectomy Reversal

Your surgeon will provide you with a full list of things to do depending on your individual circumstances and any medication you may be taking. If you will be under general anaesthetic, you will not be allowed to drink or eat up to 6 hours before the operation. You will also need to stop smoking before and after and ensure that that area around your testicles is clean and shaven.

Procedure of a Vasectomy Reversal

The vasectomy reversal surgery can take 2-4 hours to complete. The surgeon will try to reconnect the ducts that carry sperm from the testicles into the semen. Following surgery, you will need to wait some time to ensure that sperm returns to the semen and is able to be ejaculated. There will also be a much longer time (up to 2 years) to see if pregnancy occurs. A standard procedure is usually undertaken but when this is not possible, a different technique may be used to ensure that the sperm can reach the vas deferens.

Recovery from a Vasectomy Reversal

After a Vasectomy Reversal you should wear loose fitting clothes and take a week or two off work to ensure a full recovery. You will be given pain-killers and will most likely be required to stay one night in hospital. Plenty of rest and drinking fluids is essential for your body to recover. You will also be advised not to do any exercise or strenuous tasks for at least a few weeks.

Risks of a Vasectomy Reversal

If you are given a general anaesthetic, you may feel slightly sick and unwell after the operation but this should be temporary. Surgery will always carry with it a slight risk of complication and it is important to find an experienced surgeon. Some of the effects associated with a small number of patients are infection, bleeding, deep vein thrombosis, damage to blood vessels and fluid building up in the scrotum.

Alternatives to Vasectomy Reversal

IVF treatment means that if sperm can be recovered, or has been stored beforehand, the sperm can simply be injected into the egg. If fertilisation occurs, this can then be implanted into the woman’s uterus. If you have problems conceiving, this can be a very effective option despite being very expensive. Another alternative to a vasectomy reversal, is the use of Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection. This is when sperm is taken directly from the testicles and then artificially inseminated straight into an egg. This is a far cheaper option but as with all of the treatments, cannot guarantee success.

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