- Men's Health & Wellness
Vasectomy Reversal, Cost and After, Options Explained
Your Vasectomy Reversal Options Explained
A Microsurgical Vasectomy Reversal is a complicated procedure and this article examines the success rates of getting your vasectomy reversed and the likelihood you and your partner having a pregnancy after vasectomy reversal. It is designed to help you decide if a this procedure is the right choice for you and if so, to explain what your vasectomy reversal options are. Also discussed are vasectomy reversal alternatives if the operation is not successful or if you decide not to go ahead but still want to father a child.
Only you will know the reasons why you are considering having your Vasectomy reversed, it may be that you and your partner have now decided you would like to add to your family – or to start one. In a minority of men, the decision to reverse their Vasectomy is to relieve testicular pain.
Whatever your reasons, here are some things to consider.
A Vasectomy Reversal?
It is Not Cheap To Reverse a Vasectomy Operation
In the UK, it is not generally available on the NHS and where it is, there is usually a long waiting list. In Private Clinics, the price of reversing vasectomy surgery may be up to around $10,000 and of the figures I have found in the UK the price of surgery to reverse the procedure is somewhat lower - one clinic in the North of England had a published price of £2,600. The cost is not usually covered by Healthcare Insurance.
The Success Rate of Reversing a Vasectomy
In the UK, the NHS website publishes statistics of thesuccess rates for vasectomy reversal opterations. Reversals are successful in up to 55% of cases if you have your vasectomy reversed within 10 years and approximately 25% if you have your vasectomy reversed after more than 10 years. Their vasectomy reversal success rate figures are based on the number of partners who go on to successfully have a baby after their vasectomy reversal surgery. The reasons for this vary but may depend on what type of Vasectomy you had originally, how much scar tissue has developed since that operation, your age and your sexual health. Other sources I have researched place the highest success rates within three years of the original vasectomy.
Sperm usually appears in the semen after a few months if a vasectomy reversal has been successful – although it can take up to 15 months according to information on the Mayo Clinic website. A successful vasectomy reversal leads to pregnancy in about half of couples within two years of the procedure.
What Can I Do To Optimise My Chances of A Successful Reversal?
Usually the main purpose of having vasectomy reversal surgery is to restore fertility. If you have not previously fathered a child, you may be offered a testicular biopsy where fluid is removed directly from your testicles to check for sperm. Obviously, your female partner needs to be able to conceive so if she has not previously had a pregnancy, it would be very sensible for her to get this checked out before you decide to go ahead.
When you are choosing a Vasectomy Reversal Doctor, be sure to ask how many reversals he or she has done in the past and what is his (or her) vasectomy reversal success rate i.e. how many patients’ partners have become pregnant after vasectomy reversal? Look for a specialist well versed in microsurgical techniques.
What are the risks?
Vasectomy Reversal is generally considered to be a safe procedure and major complications are very rare. However, if any of the following develop, you should contact your Doctor immediately:-
a) Fever – this could indicate an infection which may need treatment with antibiotics
b) Swelling that gets worse
c) Difficulty in passing urine
d) A lump in your scrotum – this could be as a result of sperm leakage. The body’s own immune system forms a mass called a sperm granuloma and this development could indicate that the reversal has been unsuccessful.
What Are The Surgical Options To Reverse A Vasectomy?
There are two procedures available:-
a) Vasovasostomy. This is the simpler of the two procedures available and is suitable when the ends of the tube that carries the sperm can be sewn back together.
b) Vasoepididymostomy. This is the more complicated of the two procedures and is used when the sperm flow is blocked and a Vasovasostomy would not work.
c) It is possible that a combination of the two procedures may have to be used if it is possible to do a Vasovasostomy on one side, but not the other.
Your surgeon will (in most instances) make the decision as to which procedure is suitable for you during your operation. Research I have done shows that partner pregnancy after a vasectomy reversal is lower in the case of a Vasoepididymostomy.
Animation Video Showing the Reversal of a Vasectomy
And to lighten the mood, because Vasectomy Reversal is no laughing matter .....
Further Reading On Your Reversal of Vasectomy Options
Vasectomy Reversal Options, the alternatives available to you.
Having some of your sperm frozen. You can choose to have some of the sperm found during the operation frozen in case having your vasectomy reversed does not work. This may enable you to father a child with your partner by using a technique of in vitro fertilisation called ICSI which stands for intracytoplasmic sperm injection. If this does not work, it may still be possible for in vitro fertilisation to take place by using sperm taking directly from your testicle.
ICSI (see above) is also an option to enable you to father a child with your partner if, for whatever reason, you decide not to go ahead with a vasectomy reversal procedure.
Fertility Treatment. If your reversal is successful but still does not result in a pregnancy although there is sperm in your semen, it could be that your sperm is less mobile than it was before and in this case, it may still be possible for you and your partner to have a baby together after fertility treatment.
Low Cost Surgical Options If You Need A Vasectomy Reversed
Microsurgergical Vasectomy Reversal, offered under local anaesthetic to suitable candidates is available at a cost of around $6,000
Going abroad may be one of the Vasectomy Reversal options you wish to consider. However, you will need to research this very carefully, reassuring yourself on all points, exactly as you would when choosing a clinic and surgeon at home.