If you’re considering undergoing a Vasectomy Reversal, you may be doing a lot of research to learn more about the procedure, success rate, recovery time, and find the best Vasectomy Reversal surgeons in Canada.
We’ve partnered with Dr. Premal Patel, a top Urologist who specializes in Vasectomy Reversal procedures at Clearpoint Surgical Centre Winnipeg, to share five facts you should know before undergoing a Vasectomy Reversal.
- What should I look for in a surgeon when considering a Vasectomy Reversal?
Your Vasectomy Reversal specialist should be a Urologist. Urologists are the only specialists trained with years of residency and training in the area of male reproductive anatomy and surgery. This training allows for a urologist to identify whether a patient is a good candidate for a vasectomy reversal and how to perform complex microsurgical vasectomy reversals. Given a Urologists vast experience with scrotal/testicular surgery, they are the ideal surgeons to perform your vasectomy reversals.
Your Vasectomy Reversal specialist should have microsurgical training. The ability to perform a Vasectomy Reversal under an operating microscope is paramount to ensure a successful outcome. Many individuals perform Vasectomy Reversals under loupes (magnified glasses) and this does not have equivalent success rates to being performed using an operating microscope.
Your Vasectomy Reversal specialist must look for sperm at the time of surgery to perform the correct reconstructive procedure. No doctor can predict what type of reconnection is required (vasovasostomy or vasoepididymostomy). Looking for sperm at the time of surgery allows the surgeon to know which procedure to do to ensure they are providing you the procedure with the highest chance of success. If sperm is present, then a vasovasostomy (vas to vas) is required. If no sperm is seen, this typically suggests a vasoepididymostomy (vas to epididymis) is required which is a procedure only a few sub-speciality Urologists are trained to perform.
- What is a Vasectomy Reversal and how is it performed?
The main principle of a Vasectomy Reversal is to reconnect the vas deferens to ensure flow of sperm and return of fertility. Vasectomy reversals are typically performed under general anesthesia and can take 3-3.5 hours to perform. In general, 2 small scrotal incisions on the scrotum (similar to your vasectomy but larger) are required to perform the procedure. The surgery is day surgery which means you will go home the same day. It is recommended to take it easy for 24 hours with no intercourse, masturbation or physical activity for 2 weeks.
For the first 2-3 days, you will have mild to moderate swelling and tenderness in the scrotum. This can be managed effectively with your prescribed pain medication or over the counter medication. Supportive underwear is recommended for the first week post procedure as well as on/off ice. Patients can shower 48 hours post surgery. Baths should be avoided for at least 2 weeks. All sutures will dissolve on their own and do not require to be removed.
- Vasectomy was performed a number of years ago, can it be reversed?
In general, most if not all vasectomies can be reversed with varying success rates. However, those reversed earlier (typically less than 10 years), have the highest chance of success. The longer the duration since vasectomy leads to secondary blockages and therefore makes the chances of performing a vasoepididymostomy higher, which decreases the chance of overall success (~65% return of sperm in the ejaculate if performed on both sides versus >95% if a vasovasostomy is performed).
- What are the success rates following a Vasectomy Reversal?
The goal of a Vasectomy Reversal should be to have a baby. Although a Vasectomy Reversal may be successful (sperm return to the ejaculate), conception requires proper evaluation of the male and female partner. As such, your Vasectomy Reversal specialist should be a Urologist but ideally a subspecialty trained Urologist in Male Reproductive Urology. At the time of your consultation, your specialist should inquire as to any potential female factors that would compromise success of conception and whether a thorough female evaluation is required.
With respect to success rates, if a vasovasostomy is performed (vas to vas), the chance of sperm returning in the ejaculate is greater than 95% and can take 3-6 months from surgery. If a vasoepididymostomy is required on both sides (vas to epididymis), the chance of sperm returning can be ~65% and can take up to 1 year from surgery.
- When can I start conceiving after a Vasectomy Reversal?
It is recommended to avoid masturbation, intercourse or heavy lifting for two weeks after your surgery. At that point, it is safe to start conceiving. Depending on the type of procedure you had (vasovasostomy vs. vasoepididymostomy), the return of sperm in the ejaculate can vary. Your specialist should arrange for sperm testing starting 2-3 months post surgery.
With respect to sperm return to the ejaculate – vasovasostomy (vas to vas), can take 3-6 months. Vasoepididymostomy (vas to epididymis), can take up to 1 year.
Learn More About Vasectomy Reversals at Clearpoint Health Network
If you need Vasectomy Reversal surgery in Canada, Clearpoint Health Network provides Canadians with rapid access to the surgery they need by expert registered surgeons at our advanced surgical facilities.
Clearpoint Health Network offers private healthcare access in Canada at our private clinics in Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, and Vancouver. As a leader of private healthcare in Canada, we provide access to a variety of surgical procedures without the long wait times. When you partner with us for your private healthcare needs, you can get the surgery you need, when you need it. Clearpoint Health Network offers Canadians high-quality healthcare from our team of board certified surgeons and registered nurses at our advanced surgical centres. We offer a range of procedures for your healthcare needs, including private Vasectomy Reversal surgery in Canada. Learn more about our licensed surgical centres across Canada and contact us today to arrange a consultation.
Content contributed by Dr. Premal Patel in association with Clearpoint Health Network.
Premal Patel, MD FRCSC
Male Infertility, Microsurgery & Sexual Medicine
University of Manitoba
Dr. Premal Patel is available to perform Vasectomy Reversal procedures at Clearpoint Surgical Centre Winnipeg.