MFS Fertility Blog

Success Rates of Vasectomy Reversal: What to Expect

Posted on December 21, 2023 in Vasectomy Reversal

Men contemplating having a vasectomy reversal should know that it affords impressive success rates. You may wonder what “success” means, and how it may impact potential patients. While this procedure has been shown to yield a high level of effectiveness, it’s dependent on such factors as the specific technique and the health status of the male patient and his female partner. To further ensure success, your microsurgeon must have the proper training and experience, as with Dr. Martin Bastuba, the founder and Medical Director of Male Fertility & Sexual Medicine Specialists (MFS). It’s vital to educate yourself about this procedure early on, to help boost the likelihood of experiencing positive results.

Vasectomy Reversal Techniques Contribute to Success

Two reattachment methods are performed, although your microsurgeon can only make this selection before surgery, as fluid from the vas must be evaluated to detect sperm’s presence. Microsurgery, employing special instruments to magnify images up to 40 or 50 times, is utilized to carefully disconnect and reconnect tissue.

  • Vasovasostomy – The standard option, it involves the reattachment of the severed ends of the vas deferens (vas), the tube moving sperm from a testicle into semen.
  • Vasoepididymostomy – The much more complex technique, used when no fluid is present, involves the severed vas being reattached directly to the epididymis, the testicular tube holding and carrying sperm. If it’s been a while since the vasectomy, you may undergo both techniques.

Patency and Pregnancy: The Keys to Vasectomy Reversal Success

Vasectomy reversal success rates are actually determined by two measures.

  • Patency signals how effectively sperm has returned to your ejaculate. Considered the primary indication of success, this generally occurs within two months after the surgery. A stable semen analysis test result establishes needed proof, although it may take up to 12 months to report. The vasovasostomy averages a 98% patency rate and 65% to 75% pregnancy rates.
  • Pregnancy indicates a couple’s ability to conceive after the reversal. Keep in mind that pregnancy may be dependent on factors impacting both a man and his female partner, like testicular issues, or a woman’s age or fertility issues. The site of the vasectomy also plays a role, as being closer to the testicle may raise reversal difficulty, calling for a vasoepididymostomy. For these reasons, the pregnancy rate is always lower than that of patency. The vasoepididymostomy averages a 90% patency rate and 40% to 60% pregnancy rates.

The Right Microsurgeon Makes All the Difference

The microsurgeon performing your vasectomy reversal plays an integral role in the long-term success. A widely held misconception was that vasectomy reversal success rates suddenly plummeted after 10 years. Dr. Bastuba and other microsurgeons have achieved effective outcomes up to 40 years after a vasectomy, enabling pregnancy only mere months later. Besides microsurgery skills, your results will improve with doctors possessing relevant board certification. They should also have accumulated years of vasectomy reversal experience, including that for reconstruction, particularly when performing a vasoepididymostomy.

Due Diligence May Improve Vasectomy Reversal Success

While a vasectomy reversal may be an effective procedure, its success is dependent on such factors as the technique, both partners’ health, and the microsurgeon. It’s important to research and familiarize yourself with this procedure to better prepare. If you’re interested in scheduling a consultation with Dr. Martin Bastuba, or for general questions, we encourage you to today.

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