Vasectomy Reversal FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions About Vasectomy Reversal Surgery
Below are some frequently asked questions about vasectomy reversals. Educating yourself about the process can help you during your decision making process.
What is a vasectomy reversal?
A vasectomy reversal, also known as vasovasostomy, is a surgical procedure that reverses your previous vasectomy. During the surgery, segments of vas deferens are reconnected, allowing sperm to enter the semen and ejaculate once again. Thus, a vasectomy reversal restores your fertility.
How much does a vasectomy reversal cost?
At Male Fertility Specialists, we’ve worked hard to keep procedure costs as low as possible while strictly maintaining quality patient care. The costs for a vasectomy reversal are as follows:
• $4,000 Surgeon’s fee (to be paid in full prior to the procedure)
• $900 Anesthesia professional fee
• $2,200 Surgery Center Facility fee
A $1,200 non-refundable deposit is due when the vasectomy reversal is scheduled. The total fee of a vasectomy reversal is $7,100 - which is reduced from $7,650.
Can any urologist perform a good vasectomy reversal?
It is impossible to perform a successful vasectomy reversal without extensive training and special experience in microsurgery, especially reconstructive procedures such as vasoepididymostomy (VE). A physician should perform at least 20 to 100 vasectomy reversals a year to maintain expert proficiency. Most general urologists perform 0 to 2 vasectomy reversals a year. Though they consider themselves qualified, one must ask themselves how they have been able to maintain their proficiency in this extremely technical task.
Dr. Bastuba is one of the 2% of urologists in the US who has received the specialized microsurgical training necessary and he regularly performs vasectomy reversals which keeps his technical skills sharp. If you are deciding on a male fertility specialist, make sure you ask questions about how many vasectomy reversals they perform, their expertise and specialty. A good idea is to ask to speak with some of their patients that have already undergone the procedure. It also is helpful to check their medical background including possible malpractice records. For Dr. Bastuba, these demanding procedures are a routine part of his daily practice. Read our tips on how to find a good vasectomy reversal surgeon.
Vasectomy Reversal Success & Pregnancy after a Vasectomy Reversal
How successful are vasectomy reversals? What happens if the vasectomy reversal fails?
Dr. Bastuba of Male Fertility Specialists has a 98% success rate for vasectomy reversals. The key to a successful vasectomy reversal is the selection of a highly skilled, trained and experienced surgeon. Dr. Bastuba, for example, has performed over 3,000 vasectomy reversals.
Should the vasectomy reversal fail, other options are available. We invite patients to learn more about this remote possibility by visiting our blog and reading: Should I Give Up After a Vasectomy Reversal Failure?
What will the success of my vasectomy reversal depend on?
A successful vasectomy reversal can depend on a few factors. An experienced, trained microsurgeon is recommended in order to ensure the best possible outcome. Patients are encouraged to speak with the individual performing the vasectomy procedure and ask about the physician’s experience (Are they a microsurgeon?), their success rate, how many vasectomy reversals they have performed, and if anything in your medical or surgical history suggests that there are lowered chances of a successful reversal. In addition, the quality and success of the original vasectomy may play a role in how successful a reversal will be.
I had a failed vasectomy reversal surgery via another doctor. Can Dr. Bastuba help?
Vasectomy reversal surgery is not always successful. In most cases, failed vas reversals are due to technical mistakes by the surgeon. However, if you have had an unsuccessful vasectomy reversal in the past, Dr. Bastuba can perform a re-do vasectomy reversal, and potentially restore your ability to conceive. Since each case is different, a vasectomy reversal specialist like Dr. Bastuba, can evaluate your case and decide whether a new vasectomy reversal or a more complicated surgical procedure called a vasoepididymostomy is appropriate. Read our information about vasectomy reversal failures.
How soon after my reversal will I have sperm in my semen?
The return of sperm after the procedure may be immediate or may take up to 12 months. The difference lies in the type of the procedure required and the intra-operative findings. If there are high numbers of very motile (swimming) sperm at time of the reversal and vasovasostomy alone is required than it is common for sperm to be present at the initial semen analysis at one or two months post-op. However, during the first few months you may have poor sperm motility even if your sperm count is good. It usually takes around six months to achieve normal sperm count and improved sperm motility.
If vasoepididymostomy is required on both sides then it can take six to 12 months or even longer for the return of sperm to the ejaculate.
Conception can still occur even if there is a significant delay for the return of sperm to the ejaculate. For some couples, this is an important factor to consider and one of the reasons why females of advanced age or couples in a hurry to start their family will choose sperm retrieval versus vasectomy reversal. Following the return of sperm to the semen, Dr. Bastuba recommends the freezing of sperm to lock in a good result. During the recovery period, it is also important to check sperm counts at intervals post-op to make sure that late scarring and blocking of the tube has not occurred.
When can my partner and I expect a pregnancy after a vasectomy reversal?
After the vasectomy reversal, sperm can return to semen immediately or take up to 12 months. The time frame greatly depends on the type of vasectomy reversal needed for each individual and what the surgeon finds during the procedure. If, during the reversal procedure, your surgeon encounters a complication, then it may take longer for sperm to appear.
Sometimes a more complex vasectomy reversal procedure known as a vasoepididymostomy may be needed, which means that sperm can take around 6 months to a year to return. Your doctor will be able to provide a more thorough estimation of when a pregnancy is possible both during the consultation and after the procedure has been performed.
If my partner gets pregnant after a vasectomy reversal, are there added risks involved? Is the sperm as healthy as before the vasectomy?
There is no added risk for the outcome of pregnancy. Reversing a vasectomy does not impact the sperm morphology The sperm itself is unchanged by the vasectomy reversal, the only thing that differs is the 'age' of the sperm.
Alternatives to Vasectomy Reversal
What are vasectomy reversal alternatives?
Instead of having a vasectomy reversal, you may consider an operation called intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or ICSI. For men with a vasectomy, ICSI involves retrieval of sperm from the epididymis or testis with a minor surgical procedure. It is done under local anesthesia and involves an insertion of a needle into the scrotum to retrieve the sperm. ICSI is used in combination with in vitro fertilization to achieve pregnancy. During the operation, one single sperm is injected into an egg obtained from your partner. The fertilized egg is then transferred into your partner’s uterus, after which pregnancy can continue normally. Read about some other vasectomy reversal alternatives here.
How does ICSI compare to a vasectomy reversal?
They each have advantages and drawbacks. In most situations a vasectomy reversal offers the most desirable option for pregnancy. It only requires one procedure to be performed on the male and then couples can then try to conceive with traditional intercourse.
ICSI on the other hand requires that both partners undergo a procedure and the woman is stimulated with fertility drugs to treat a "male problem". Studies have shown the costs of establishing a pregnancy in this fashion are three times greater with ICSI than with a vasectomy reversal alone. Studies have also shown that it is even less expensive to have a failed vasectomy reversal with a redo than to have sperm retrieval with ICSI.
When is sperm retrieval with ICSI preferable to a vasectomy reversal?
The advantage of ICSI is the possibility for some couples to establish a pregnancy quicker than with a vasectomy reversal. We recommend ICSI/sperm harvesting in those situations where a vasectomy reversal would be difficult or impossible, the female partner is of advanced reproductive age, or when there is also a female factor contributing to infertility. Each couples' circumstances are unique and need to be addressed on an individual basis. Our goal is to assist couples in having a child of their own, regardless of the path they choose. Read our information on alternatives to vasectomy reversals.
Other Questions about Vasectomy Reversals
What are the vasectomy reversal risks?
As with any surgery, routine operative complications and risks may include infections, bleeding and side effects of anesthesia. After the vasectomy reversal, patients can experience pain or unusual swelling in the scrotum area. Other vasectomy reversal risks may include post-operative pain, continued absence of sperm from the ejaculate, continued inability to initiate a pregnancy, and high riding testicles (especially if large portions of the vas deferens were removed at time of the initial vasectomy or after a vasectomy reversal failure).
Loss of testicular tissue is also a possibility. Though Dr. Bastuba has never experienced this in any of his patients, it has been reported in literature. Severe complications that require additional surgery are quite rare and a minimal vasectomy reversal risk.
Is there a lot of post-op pain after a vasectomy reversal? Does it hurt?
The post-op pain after a vasectomy reversal is very similar to the pain after the original vasectomy surgery. Normal symptoms include, soreness, slight swelling and bruising of the scrotal area. Any discomfort you experience can be alleviated with pain medications.
How soon can I have sex after a vasectomy reversal?
It is recommended you wait at least three weeks after the surgery before resuming your normal sex life.
Is sex after vasectomy reversal surgery the same? Will my sex life be affected?
Sex after vasectomy reversal should remain the same. Some men even find their sexual life enhanced after vasectomy reversal because it's "the real thing".
Is it possible to have a vasectomy reversal after 10 years?
Yes. Contrary to popularly beliefs, it is possible to have a successful vasectomy reversal 10 or 20 years after a vasectomy. Dr. Bastuba has even successfully reversed patients up to 40 years following a vasectomy with pregnancy occurring in as early as a few months.
The potential for a successful vasectomy reversal after 10 years is partially dependent on the quality of the original vasectomy as well as the experience level of the vasectomy reversal surgeon. Many urologists perform reversals only several times a year, so it is best to find a specialized microsurgeon that performs vasectomy reversals regularly each week like Dr. Bastuba. Watch vasectomy reversal patients tell their success stories on TV.
Do men stop making sperm after a vasectomy?
No, a male does not stop producing sperm whether or not he has had a vasectomy. Your body will continue to make sperm – it will just be confined to the testes, which prevents pregnancy from occurring. Factors that would stop sperm production are exposure to high doses of radiation, radioactivity or extensive chemotherapy.