Success Rates for Vasectomy Reversal

Recent Microsurgical Advances

Before the introduction of microsurgical techniques, vasectomy reversal procedures were only occasionally successful. But with relatively recent advances in microsurgical techniques, instruments and suture materials, reverse vasectomy success rates have greatly increased. The main reason for this is that an operating microscope allows the surgeon to rejoin the vas deferens ends much more accurately. The diameter of the vas deferens is barely perceptible to the human eye (.3 to .5 mm in diameter). As a result, the placement of sutures with the aid of optical magnification (10 to 40 times) is far more accurate.

Microsurgical techniques for the correction of epididymal obstruction (vasoepididymostomy) have also led to improved pregnancy rates following vasectomy reversal. A surgeon who has microsurgical expertise can transition from a vasovasostomy to a more complicated vasoepididymostomy when the need arises.

Reverse Vasectomy Success Rates

Reverse vasectomy success rates often depend on the procedure. To achieve the best results, the surgeon needs to be experienced in assessing vas fluid quality, evaluating signs of epididymal blockage, and determining the best location for a vasoepididymostomy, if needed. A vasoepididymostomy is necessary in approximately one-third of cases, and the need for it can only be definitively determined during surgery. In terms of effectiveness, here’s how the two procedures compare:

Vasovasostomy

Following microsurgical vasovasostomy, sperm appears in the semen in approximately 85 to 97% of men. Approximately 50 percent of couples subsequently achieve a pregnancy.

Vasoepididymostomy

Following microsurgical vasoepididymostomy, sperm appears in the semen in approximately 65% of men. Approximately 20 percent of couples subsequently achieve a pregnancy.

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