Vasectomy reversal

What is a vasectomy reversal?

A vasectomy reversal is an operation to re-join each of the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the penis. These tubes were cut during your original vasectomy operation.

What does this involve?

The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic as a day case and usually takes about two hours. Your surgeon will make a small cut on each side of your scrotum to expose the tubes and then rejoin them. The cut in the skin is closed using dissolvable stitches or adhesive strips and covered by a plastic film.

When will I recover?

You should be able to go home the next day but are likely to need someone to drive you. You should be able to return to work after a week although it is best to avoid exercise and ejaculation for two weeks after the operation. You may experience some discomfort but this can be treated using painkillers we will provide you. There could also be a degree of scrotal swelling and bruising and you will be advised to wear tight fitting underwear for the first week after the operation.

About eight weeks after the operation, your doctor will ask you to give a sample of your semen. The sample will be tested to find out if there are any sperm present which indicates a successful procedure.

What risks should I know about?

Vasectomy reversal is a commonly performed and generally safe procedure although all surgery does carry an element of risk. It is important to understand that not all vasectomy reversal operations are successful and your surgeon can advise you of your options. 5% of reversals do block again after a year resulting in no sperm being ejaculated.

Rare complications can include infection which can be treated by antibiotics, some bleeding which may require further surgery and possibly chronic testicular pain.

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