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Vasectomy Reversal

Surgery Overview

Vasectomy reversal (vasovasostomy) reconnects the tubes (vas deferens) that were cut during a vasectomy. A vasectomy is considered a permanent method of birth control. But reversal surgery may let a man father a child after a vasectomy.

The doctor makes two small cuts (incisions) on both sides of the scrotum. Then the two ends of the tubes are joined. Sperm can now move through this tube to the penis.

Vasectomy reversal usually doesn't require an overnight stay in the hospital.

You may go back to work or your normal routine in 1 week. Lie down as much as you can for the next week.

What To Expect

You can expect to go home the same day.

Pain may be mild to moderate. You should be able to resume normal activities, including sex, within 3 weeks.

Why It Is Done

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

How Well It Works

Chances of a successful vasectomy reversal decline over time. Reversals work best during the first 10 years after a vasectomy.footnote 1

In general, vasectomy reversal:footnote 2

  • Leads to overall pregnancy rates of greater than 50%.
  • Has the greatest chance of success within 3 years of the vasectomy.
  • Leads to pregnancy only about 30% of the time if the reversal is done 10 years after the vasectomy.

Risks

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.

References

Citations

  1. Roncari D, Jou MY (2011). Female and male sterilization. In RA Hatcher, et al., eds., Contraceptive Technology, 20th rev. ed., pp. 435–482. New York: Ardent Media.
  2. Speroff L, Darney PD (2011). Sterilization. In A Clinical Guide for Contraception, 5th ed., pp. 381–404. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Credits

Current as of: February 10, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review:

Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine

Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine

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