Of the 500,000 American men who undergo vasectomies each year, about 1,500 will request a vasectomy reversal. There can be many reasons, but mostly because their circumstances have changed and they wish to become fertile again. Metro Phoenix Urologist Dr. Desi Avila is the go-to male vasectomy reversal specialist. He is fellowship trained and has extensive experience with vasectomy reversals, including expertise in the two-layer, microsurgical technique.
What Happens During a Vasectomy Reversal Surgery?
There are two main types of vasectomy reversal procedures: vas-to-vas reconstruction (vasovasostomy), and vas-to-testicle bypass surgery (vasoepididymostomy). Both restore sperm flow, so that you and your partner are able to conceive.
Dr. Avila will take a fluid sample from your vas deferens before your surgery to determine which procedure is appropriate, based on your unique needs. He will evaluate your seminal fluid and the presence (or absence) of sperm, as well as the quality of any sperm present.
- Vasovasostomy: If the fluid is clear or sperm are present, then there is no blockage in the epididymis (a tube located at the back of the testicles that stores and carries sperm), and a vasovasostomy can be performed. During vas-to-vas reconstruction, Dr. Avila uses an operating microscope to reconnect the vas tube in two layers. Reconstruction typically takes about two to three hours.
- Vasoepididymostomy: If the fluid appears creamy or thick, or if there is no healthy sperm present, this is a sign that the epididymis is blocked. In this case, a vasoepididymostomy should be performed to bypass the blockage. During a bypass vasectomy reversal, Dr. Avila will use a microsurgical approach to connect the vas to the testicle above the occlusion in the epididymis. Bypass surgery is slightly more complicated than reconstruction and takes about four hours to complete.
Both types of vasectomy reversal are performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia, along with a long-acting local anesthesia. Dr. Avila uses the no-scalpel approach to identify the vasectomy site, which minimizes trauma to the tissues surrounding the vasectomy reversal site. He dedicates an entire day to his vasectomy reversal patients so that he is not rushed. Instead, he is able to completely focus on the delicate vasectomy microsurgery.
What Happens During a Vasectomy Reversal Recovery?
Most of Dr. Avila’s vasectomy reversal patients experience very minimal pain, if any. They often report less pain than they did during their original vasectomy. An over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen (Tylenol) is usually adequate to control the discomfort. Most patients can return to work and normal activities within 7 to 10 days, but you should refrain from strenuous activities and sex for about 3 weeks after surgery.
Dr. Avila will check your sperm count at regular intervals following the surgery. It may take up to 2 months for sperm to reappear after vas-to-vas reconstruction, and anywhere from 3 to 15 months after vas-to-testicle bypass surgery.
Does a Vasectomy Reversal Work?
While success rates vary greatly depending on factors such as number of years since you’ve had a vasectomy, generally a vasectomy reversal results in pregnancy over 50% of the time. Dr. Avila’s success rates are higher than the national average.
Your chances of success are highest within 3 years of your original procedure. If it has been longer than 10 years since your male vasectomy, your chances of conception are reduced.
How Much Does Vasectomy Reversal Surgery Cost?
Vasectomy reversals are rarely covered by insurance, so you will have out-of-pocket expenses for the procedure. Vasectomy reversals are much more cost-effective than other methods of conception after a vasectomy. During a vasectomy reversal consultation, Dr. Avila will review the cost of reversal surgery with you. He will explain how he is able to offer low-cost vasectomy reversals compared to other reversal surgeons, though he is one of the most skilled and successful reversal specialists in the United States.
Will a Vasectomy Reversal Affect My Sex Life?
A vasectomy reversal will not affect your ability to achieve or maintain an erection, your sex drive, or your pleasure during intercourse. During the process of trying to conceive, it may improve your intimacy with your partner as you enjoy the act of procreation together.
Am I a Good Candidate for a Vasectomy Reversal?
Male fertility specialist Dr. Avila will run tests to help determine whether a vasectomy reversal procedure is right for you. If you were fertile before your vasectomy and testing confirms the absence of antisperm antibodies in your semen, you are likely a good candidate for a vasectomy reversal.
Considering a vasectomy reversal with a urologist in the East Valley area? Call board-certified urologist Dr. Desi Avila at (480) 961-2323 for a consultation, or request an appointment online. One of the leading vasectomy reversal surgeons in the country, he has two conveniently located urology offices in the Phoenix, Arizona area.