The Vasectomy Reversal
You might be surprised to know that vasectomy reversal is actually possible. With the help of microsurgical techniques, a procedure of this permanence can actually be undone! This surgery first came into practice for most urologists in the 1970’s, but with the aid of microsurgery techniques, vasectomy reversals are now done by specialists.
At its most basic, a vasectomy involves cutting the vas deferens so the flow of sperm from the testes to the ejaculate is prevented. For more detailed information about the vasectomy itself, check out this article on The Vasectomy Procedure.
The concept of the vasectomy reversal is pretty simple, although it is a more difficult procedure than a vasectomy and requires a surgical specialist. Obviously, it is a surgery performed to undo the surgical alterations completed during a vasectomy. This is done using microsurgery, in which a surgical microscope magnifies the area of the vas deferens. While there are different methods of reattachment, a two-layer microsurgical closure of the vas deferens allows for a higher likelihood of the sperm to reenter the semen for ejaculation. If you picture reattaching the ends of two sets of double-layered microscopic garden hoses, you have the basic picture. The fancy name for the “basic” picture is a vasovasostomy.
Why Reverse a Good Thing?
A vasectomy is great for a period of in life when you are not ready to focus on children. But lives change, and with those changes may come changes in the desire to have kids. Perhaps your financial situation is better suited to have a family, or you have begun a life with a new partner, and now you both desire to fill your lives with the laughter of children. Rarely, some need a reversal due to testicular pain. Whatever the reason, you can consider reversing your vasectomy.
Vasectomy by the Numbers
According to a study of over ten thousand men, a surprising nearly twenty percent of men with vasectomy find themselves with a desire for children in the future. Success rates for vasectomy are recorded as high as 95 percent, especially if the vasectomy was performed in the last ten years, according to the Cleveland Clinic. In fact, studies show sperm may begin to flow again in as little as four weeks, though it can take up to six months to see optimal motility.
Vasectomy Reversal Post-Op
The recovery time on a vasectomy reversal is a little different than the vasectomy itself. Because the surgery is a little bit longer, it does cause more surgical trauma to the area than the vasectomy. Like the vasectomy recovery, swelling, some pain and bruising are likely after surgery. To counteract these effects, rest and ice are the best remedies. You may need one to two days before returning to work or a few more if your work is physically demanding.
Vasectomy Reversal Follow-up
After your vasectomy reversal, you should have your sperm checked for a sperm count that has returned to normal. In this case normal has a huge range, between a low of 15 million to a high of 200 million sperm per milliliter is considered normal. Additionally, you want your sperm technician to check the motility of your sperm. Are they moving along in a nice straight line? Are they speedy? All of these factors play a role in the success of a pregnancy.
The Wonders of Medicine
If you are having regrets about your vasectomy, contact a surgeon skilled in vasectomy reversals and take time to have a consultation. Vasectomy is considered permanent because without surgical intervention, no sperm will flow again. But surgical advancements have created the ability to change the word permanent to possible.