What is a Vasectomy Reversal?
A vasectomy reversal is a surgical procedure to reconnect the male reproductive tract that carries sperm, after interruption by vasectomy.
Sperm production continues after a vasectomy—some are absorbed but many are trapped in the epididymis and may cause back pressure and obstruction. This becomes more prevalent the longer the time since vasectomy.
Success measured by pregnancy rate varies widely but a large study in 1991 observed a pregnancy rate of 79% with reversal within 3 years of vasectomy—and gradually drops to 30% for reversals after 15 years or more.
The age of the patient does not seem to matter.
The operation is performed with an operating microscope under a general anaesthetic. Incisions of 2cm are made on both sides of the scrotum. It is usually done as a day procedure. A dissolvable stitch is used to close the wounds and we give you a pad and ask you to wear firm-fitting underwear (not boxers).
Preparation for your vasectomy reversal
- Have a shower or bath on the day of your procedure.
- Shave the hairs from your scrotum.
- Bring 2 pairs of firm-fitting underwear.
Refrain from sexual activity for 3 weeks post operatively.
What to expect afterwards
You are likely to have a small amount of bruising and pain. The pain will most likely subside within 7 days but it may last up to a month afterwards.
Infection—the rate of infection is very low.
Bruising—it is likely you will have some bruising afterwards. We suggest you limit activity and wear firm-fitting underwear. Occasionally bruising can be severe (haematoma). This can be painful and take quite some time to resolve.
Pain–you should expect some pain afterwards. This is usually controlled with tablets and the worst should subside in a week.
After discharge from hospital
Take it easy for 7 days to minimise the risk of bleeding and bruising. Wear firm-fitting underwear. Contact the practice if you have any concerns.
You should not drive for at least 3-4 days after having this operation (or as instructed by your Urologist).
Patients who are travelling outside the metropolitan area are required to check when they are able to travel, and will be required to stay in the metropolitan area for 24 hours (or as instructed by your Urologist).
In the event of an emergency, call our office within business hours and speak to our Practice Nurse. If out of hours, please call our office to contact our On-Call Urologist, or present to your nearest Emergency Department.
Ashford Hospital (8375 5205)
55 Anzac Highway, Ashford SA 5035
Emergency Department is open 7 days a week, 8:00am until 10:00pm
Wakefield Hospital (8405 3440)
300 Wakefield Street, Adelaide SA 5000
Emergency Department is open 7 days a week, 24 hours
**For patient’s outside the Metropolitan area, please present to your nearest hospital emergency department.
An appointment is made for review 3-4 weeks post procedure. A semen specimen for seminal fluid analysis is suggested at 3 months time.
The content provided within this document is intended as a guide only and does not apply to all patients. Additional information, including patient specific potential risks, must be obtained during consultation with your Urologist.