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What Is a Vasectomy Reversal Success Rate?

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  • Written By: J. Leach
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 21 July 2014
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Vasectomy reversal success rate is the amount of sperm that is in an ejaculation after a vasectomy has been reversed. This is highly dependent upon a few factors, like what reversal procedure was used and how long ago the original vasectomy was done. The higher the percentage of sperm, the greater the chances the man has of fertilizing an egg. Standard surgical reversal of a vasectomy can have at least a 40% success rate, and microsurgical procedures, or surgeries performed with a microscope, offer a greater chance of success, with an average of 75%.

Men who have undergone a vasectomy may decide, later in life, that they do wish to attempt to have children, and therefore seek out surgeons who can undo the procedure. To have the original sterilization procedure undone is much more difficult than a simple outpatient procedure. This often entails a vasovasostomy or vasoepididymostomy.

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A vasectomy is a sterilization procedure performed on a man usually for contraception purposes. It is very simple and is often done in a doctor’s office under local anesthesia. The patient’s scrotum is anesthetized and a small incision is made so that the doctor can clamp the vas deferens in two places. The doctor then cuts between the clamps to sever the cord. The vas deferens is duct that conducts spermatozoa, or sperm, from the epididymis to the urethra during ejaculation. Each testicle is connected to an epididymis, which runs from the scrotum to the vas deferens. Each epididymis is about 22.96 ft (7 m) long.

The ends of the cord are usually cauterized before the clamps are removed. For about six weeks following this surgery, small amounts of sperm may be ejaculated. After the residual sperm has been flushed out, however, the man is sterile.

Men often encounter varying vasectomy reversal success rates. One aspect that can greatly affect the outcome of such a procedure is the length of time between the vasectomy and its reversal. A man who seeks out a reversal within three years can hope to see a 97% rate of sperm return. If a man decides to have the procedure done 15 years later, he may only achieve a 40% return.

Microsurgery is a procedure that uses a microscope, and is far more accurate than just grafting the two ends of the vas deferens together. Such technique is often used to reconnect blood vessels and nerves. The vasectomy reversal success rate for a microsurgical procedure is often between 70 to 97%.

There are two different microsurgical procedures typically used to reconnect a severed vas deferens — vasovasostomy and vasoepididymostomy. Vasovasostomy involves the reconnection of the vas deferens to the unconnected end, this is used post-vasectomy or if a patient has an obstruction. Vasoepididymostomy is a bit more complicated and is the connection of the vas deferens to the epididymis. If the either procedure is not performed accurately, and the vas deferens is leaking, this can detrimentally affect the vasectomy reversal success rate.

It is not surprising that the vasectomy reversal success rate can be hampered if the procedure is not performed correctly. For this reason, it is important to do some research on various practitioners before having the surgery. To achieve a high vasectomy reversal success rate, it is necessary to find an experienced doctor who has successfully performed this procedure with good results.

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