When one has a vasectomy part of the vans deferens is removed, which is a strong tube of muscle that transports the sperm from the testicles to the penis. By having this surgery, the flow of the sperm is stopped which makes the man sterile, or unable to have children. However, sperm is still created, it just does not leave the body. While this surgery does not change the sex drive of the man, it does prevent pregnancy which is the main reason why many men choose this surgery.
However, a vasectomy is not an immediate means for birth control as it takes up to 12 weeks for the procedure to become permanent and not have sperm traveling through the vans deferens to the penis. After this period a vasectomy is a safe way to have sex and not risk pregnancy. There are over 600,000 men in the United States who have had this procedure in order to become sterile and not allow their significant other to become pregnant.
If you have had this surgery performed, there is always an option of having it reversed. Vasectomy reversal has become a popular surgery, especially in the past twenty-five years. There are several reasons why one may wish to have a vasectomy reversal. These include getting a divorce and then remarrying a woman who wants to have a child, the unexpected loss of a child, being in a situation where your economic status has improved and you can afford having another baby or a family decision to have another child. There are also some cases where the vasectomy causes pain due to congestion following the original vasectomy.
If you choose to have a vasectomy reversal, you have an 85 to 97% percent chance it will be successful due to the technology used. Of course, there are some situations where the reversal is not successful, but these are minimal. Over 50% of individuals are able to impregnate their wives or partners after the procedure.
There are two main types of vasectomy reversals, which allows the sperm to enter the penis again. One is known as the vasovasostomy and the other is vasoepididymostomy and while they may be difficult to pronounce, they are not difficult to understand. The difference between the two is based on where the tube is reconnected. Usually the vasovasotomy is the preferred reversal surgery because it reconnects the vans deferens where it was originally cut. However, if there is inflammation, blockage, or scarring in the tubes, the reconnection is not between the two tubes, but rather from the tube to the epididymis. This technique basically reroutes the vans deferens. This second procedure usually takes longer and is not the recommended reversal technique unless there is no other option.
Because of microsurgical techniques, most vasectomy reversals are successful and not complicated procedures. The use of a powerful microscope allows surgeons to connect the ends of each tube with accurate precision. When it comes to a vasectomy reversal two microsurgical techniques are used. The first is known as a single layer approximation. This procedure uses one suture to sew the inner and outer layers of the tube together using 6-8 sutures. Occasionally the sutures leave gaps that must be closed and the surgeon will do so using modified single layer approximation. The second type of reversal is known as the multi-layer technique. This technique connects the inner and outer tubes separately. Sutures connect the inner layer to an opening in the epididymal tubal and then the outer layer is connected in order to complete the procedure. The single layer surgery is more successful, less expensive, takes less time, requires less anesthesia, and has better results for a subsequent pregnancy.
Despite the success of most vasectomy reversals, it is also good to note problems that may occur during the surgery. If the vasectomy reversal is not successful the main reason is due to blockage. This is due to ruptures or obstructions that might occur during the length of time between the vasectomy and reversal. The pressure that builds up can sometimes cause a leak, like a pipe leaking when pressure is high. However, if this does happen, there can still be a reversal, however a second surgery, a vasoepididymostomy, is necessary for the reversal to be successful. The outcome of the reversal may also be affected by the initial vasectomy. When the vans deferens tube is cut in the beginning, it can either be cut close to or far away from the epididymis. If the cut was close to the epididymis then a higher chance of scarring and obstruction exists before the decision is made for a reversal. The scarring and/or obstruction makes for a more complicated reversal procedure and the success rate drops significantly when these are present. Another reason why the vasectomy reversal may not work is from shrunken testicles. If shrunken testicles exist the vasectomy is irreversible and the chances to reconnect the tubes for fertility are slim to none. There is also a possibility that varicoceles, a complication involving the testicular veins, damaged the testicles and vans deferens. Your doctor will give conduct a full examination and inform you of any risk factors you might have and whether surgery is a good option for you.
If you have a vasectomy reversal and it is unsuccessful, there is a chance that you can go back and try a second reversal. However, the success rate is decreased significantly the second time around. If the second vasectomy reversal is successful, it usually takes about 12 to 24 months for everything to work normally again.
Since the procedure is not complicated, it will only be a day surgery, the actual surgery time lasting two to three hours. General anesthesia is given to patients who decide to have the surgery. There may be swelling, discoloration or bruising afterwards, but nothing too severe. The anesthesia may also have some side-effects. None of these symptoms should last more than a few days. It is important to not engage in any strenuous activities for at least four days after the surgery.
If you have a desire to have a family or have gone through changes in your life, a vasectomy reversal is a successful way to help you make those changes. However, keep in mind there are risks involving a vasectomy reversal and it is not always successful, and even when it is it takes time for the body to function normally again. Despite all of this, a reversal gives men the opportunity to regain their fertility.