Understanding Vasectomy Reversal Surgery and Its Success Rates

It was a good idea at the time — you felt that your days of fathering children should come to an end, and you opted for a vasectomy, for good reason. This procedure not only carries a near 100% success rate but it’s also considered a permanent birth control method. Or is it?

While most of the 50 million men in the United States who’ve undergone a vasectomy are pleased with their results, some find that life has changed and having kids is again part of the mix. The good news is that we can answer that call with a vasectomy reversal.

Even better news is that one of our Arizona Urology team members specializes in vasectomy reversals — Dr. Stephen Larsen. So, if you’re considering your options for becoming a father again after your vasectomy, read on to learn more about a vasectomy reversal.

What happens during a vasectomy

First, let’s recap what happens during a vasectomy to give you a better idea about what Dr. Larsen needs to do to reverse it. 

A vasectomy targets the two vas deferens tubes in your scrotum. These tubes deliver sperm from your epididymis — where your testes store sperm — into your prostate, where you produce semen. Once mixed, you expel the semen and sperm in the form of ejaculate through your urethra.

During your vasectomy, we pull each vas deferens out, cut them, and clip them off so that sperm can’t pass through anymore. So, after the procedure, you can still ejaculate, but there’s no sperm involved.

Reversing your vasectomy

Now that we’ve set the stage, let's look at how we can reverse our work, which is a lot trickier than the original vasectomy.

To get your sperm flowing again, Dr. Larsen performs microsurgery to reattach the ends of your severed vas deferens. This approach works well if there’s evidence of sperm in your vas deferens.

If Dr. Larsen doesn’t detect any sperm, he may have to perform a more complicated procedure that attaches one end of your vas deferens directly to your epididymis, creating a more direct route for your sperm.

Like your original vasectomy, we can perform this procedure on an outpatient basis, which means you can go home the same day. Unlike your original procedure, your vasectomy reversal takes much longer — about 3-4 hours.

What to expect after your vasectomy reversal

After your vasectomy reversal, you should take it easy for a couple of days and refrain from sexual activity for 2-4 weeks.

When it comes to success rates, vasectomy reversals are 80% to 90% effective at re-establishing fertility, especially if you seek a surgeon who has good experience with this type of microsurgery, which perfectly describes Dr. Larsen.

If you’d like to explore whether a vasectomy reversal is the right solution for your goals, please contact one of our locations in Phoenix, Goodyear, Gilbert, or Glendale, Arizona, to schedule a consultation with Dr. Larsen.

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