A vasectomy reversal is a microsurgical procedure to restore male fertility. It is also one of the most popular elective urological surgeries for men. There are two basic kinds of vasectomy reversal procedures: the first is called the vas-to-vas reconstruction, or a vasovasostomy. Depending on the length of time since the vasectomy, the quality of the original procedure, and other causes, another approach can be employed to restore fertility. This is known as a vas-to- testicular bypass surgery, or vasoepididymostomy. Dr. Avila, a board-certified and fellowship trained urologist specializing in male infertility, is an acknowledged expert in all forms of male infertility treatment, including the two-layer microsurgical technique that is considered the gold standard for the vas-to-vas reconstruction.
What is the Difference Between a Vas-to-Vas and a Vas-to-Testicle Bypass?
All vasectomy reversals involve reconnecting the vas deferens, the small ducts (or tubes), which are surrounded by muscle. Vas deferens is actually a Latin word that roughly translates to “carrying-away vessel.” Men have two of these ducts, one on each side, which carry sperm from the testicles to the urethra. The urethra is also a tube (one that carries urine as well as sperm), but never at the same time. When a man ejaculates, the flow of urine is blocked, allowing only the sperm to be expelled.
During a vasectomy reversal, the surgeon will check to see if sperm are present in the vas deferens. If healthy active sperm are found, the sections can be reunited with vasovasostomy or vas-to-vas reconstruction. If no sperm are found, or if the sperm are not healthy and active, or the seminal fluid appears thickened and creamy, there may be a blockage between the epididymis and the vas deferens (The epididymis is a complicated duct located behind the testis that carries sperm to the vas deferens).
In such cases, Dr. Avila employs advanced microsurgical techniques to connect the vas to the testicle by creating a bypass above the blockage, or occlusion, in the epididymis. The procedure is more complicated and requires about four hours to complete. It should be noted that success rates for this type of procedure depend largely on the skill of the surgeon. The personal success rates for Dr. Avila are much higher than the national average.
Successful outcomes are possible even in cases where the time lapse between the original vasectomy and the reversal is more extended. Successful vasectomy reversals have been performed after as much as 25 years have elapsed, even when the vas deferens have been both cut and cauterized.
If you, or a loved one is interested in learning more about male infertility or a vasectomy reversal, please call Dr. Desiderio Avila, Jr. today to discuss your options. You can contact Dr. Avila at Ironwood Urology in Phoenix to schedule a consultation. Call (480) 961-2323 or request an appointment online.