You’ve probably noticed a multitude of advertisements even billboards showing the ease with which vasectomies can be performed. This is true. A vasectomy is a relatively straightforward, easy procedure that requires very little downtime and not much pain. If you would like to learn more about a vasectomy, we suggest that you read our article here.
A vasectomy reversal, however, is more involved and requires additional considerations. However, it is possible, and many men benefit from restored sperm flow as a result. Did you know that despite a vasectomy, men continue to produce sperm from the testicles? Restoring this flow, therefore, simply requires a specialized urologic surgeon.
Why Do Men Want a Vasectomy Reversal?
Most often, our vasectomy reversal candidates come to us with changes in their lives. It is estimates that this accounts for about 10% of all men who have undergone a vasectomy. Some, after thinking they were done having children, want more. Others may have remarried and are looking for a biological child with a new partner. The reasons are many and varied, however patients who believe their virility has been compromised by having a vasectomy are not candidates (that simply isn’t true).
What Does a Vasectomy Reversal Entail?
Vasectomies can be reversed using one of two techniques: the standard microsurgical technique and the robotically assisted minimally invasive reversal.
Both procedures involve the same basic concept – taking the divided ends of the vas deferens and microscopically reattaching them with tiny sutures. In both cases, the procedure takes between two and four hours and offers excellent results.
However, Dr. Engel has explored the use of robotic assistance in reducing operative time and even improving results. The traditional vasectomy reversal is a demanding procedure that requires a great deal of effort on the part of the surgeon. Fatigue is not uncommon. However, using robotic assistance allows for increased visualization, precision and surgeon comfort. All of these are important factors both in the success of the procedure and operative time.
Dr. Engel will discuss the benefits and potential risks of both options during your consultation.
How Successful Is a Vasectomy Reversal?
The vasectomy reversal is very successful in qualifying patients. Typically, a patient who had their vasectomy less than 10 years ago will see a success rate well into the upper 90s. However, other factors can make a difference in whether a man’s fertility is restored. This includes the quality of their sperm, their general health, and the age of their partner. Dr. Engel may suggest that the patient visit a fertility specialist to ensure that procreation is even possible after a successful surgery.
Once you have researched vasectomy reversal and feel comfortable with the benefits and risks of the procedure, your next step is to visit Dr. Engel for a consultation. During this consultation, we will discuss the pros and cons of having a vasectomy reversal and discuss with you both his preferred reversal technique as well as what to expect, both during recovery and longer term after surgery.