Can a Vasectomy Be Reversed After Ten or More Years?
If you received a vasectomy ten or more years ago, you may be wondering if it’s even possible to reverse it. While it’s commonly believed that vasectomy reversal success rates drop dramatically after ten years, this is not entirely true. While the amount of time that has passed since a vasectomy can affect success, a microsurgeon skilled in all aspects of reconstruction will be able to successfully reverse a vasectomy after 20 years, or sometimes longer.
How Does Vasectomy Reversal Work?
The male reproductive system consists of several organs that produce, store, transport, and discharge sperm. Sperm is produced in the testicles and maturated in the epididymis. During sexual activity, mature sperm are transported from the epididymis through the vas deferens, which is a tube that connects to the penis. During this process, the sperm mixes with seminal fluid to create semen.
In a vasectomy procedure, the vas deferens is surgically cut, preventing sperm from mingling with the seminal fluid. Semen is still produced and expelled during ejaculation, but without sperm.
In vasectomy reversal, sperm is restored in one of two ways: vasovasostomy and vasoepididymostomy.
Prior to any vasectomy reversal procedure, fluid from the vas deferens is examined under a microscope to confirm the quality and health of sperm. If everything looks good, the doctor will perform a procedure known as vasovasostomy, which is a microsurgery in which the detached ends of the vas deferens are reconnected. This is the most common type of vasectomy reversal procedure.
In some cases, the vas deferens examination reveals that there is either no vas fluid or low-quality vas fluid, which indicates that there is a blockage closer to the testicle that is not allowing sperm to pass through into the vas deferens. In these scenarios, a more complex procedure known as vasoepididymostomy is necessary. During the procedure, the vas deferens is connected directly to the epididymis, which allows the sperm to bypass the blockage and pass through the vas deferens unimpeded.
How to Improve the Odds for a Successful Vasectomy Reversal
Even if it’s been a decade or longer since your vasectomy, a vasectomy reversal procedure is still a viable option to help you achieve your family-building goals. The key is to find an experienced urologist who specializes in male reproduction treatments and urologic microsurgery.
When researching urologists, be sure to choose someone who is considered an expert in the field – someone who has published research in the field and has taught others. You also want to work with someone who has a high success rate for both vasovasostomies and vasoepididymostomies.
To learn more about vasectomy reversal after ten or more years, make an appointment with a fertility specialist today.