A vasectomy is a procedure that provides permanent contraception for men. It involves the blocking of the vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the penis, to prevent fertilization of an egg. Vasectomies are one of the most popular forms of contraception in the United States, with an estimated 500,000 procedures performed each year. The procedure is simple and relatively safe, and it is considered to be a permanent form of birth control.
However, about one percent of males who get a vasectomy change their minds about having children and get a vasectomy reversal. During this procedure, the surgeon makes tiny incisions in the scrotum and reconnects the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the penis, bypassing the point of obstruction in the vas deferens and restoring fertility.
There are many myths that persist about vasectomy reversals. These keep patients from pursuing this life changing procedure. Let’s busts some myths, so that you can be better educated on this procedure.
Myth #1 A vasectomy reversal is a quick procedure that can be done in any doctor’s office.
This is not true! While a vasectomy reversal is a minimally invasive procedure, it remains a complex surgery that should only be performed by a highly skilled urologic surgeon in an accredited facility. A vasectomy reversal can take up to two hours to complete, and recovery can take up to two weeks.
Myth #2 Vasectomy reversals are always successful and result in the ability to father children.
There is no guarantee that a vasectomy reversal will 100% ensure you will have children, because there are many factors involved. The success rate of vasectomy reversals varies depending on factors such as the time since your original vasectomy, the type of surgical technique used during the vasectomy, your age and health at the time of surgery, and the skill of the operating surgeon. An honest discussion should take place between you and your urologist about what you can expect from a vasectomy reversal.
Myth #3 Vasectomies can be reversed at any time with equal success rates.
The chances of success for a vasectomy reversal diminish over time, because spermatozoa continue to die after being cut off from blood supply during a vasectomized state.
There is a 75 percent chance of a vasectomy reversal being successful if you have it within three years of having a vasectomy. It drops to 50 percent if it’s been more than three years since your vasectomy. Despite the success rate not being equal, patients who have vasectomy reversals 10 or 20 years down the road can still successfully have children – and a big factor here is the skill level of the urologic surgeon performing the procedure. Have a conversation with your urologist about the possibility of a vasectomy reversal even when planning for your vasectomy.
Urologist in Phoenix, AZ
Dr. Desiderio Avila Jr. at Ironwood Urology is a board-certified and fellowship-trained urologist exceptionally skilled in performing vasectomies and vasectomy reversals. Dr. Avila is committed to the treatment of men’s health issues and is recognized as a leading men’s health specialist in Phoenix. Dr. Avila will let you know your treatment options, and thoroughly discuss them with you so you are empowered to make a decision about your health. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Avila, call our urology office today at (480) 961-2323 or use our convenient online appointment request form.