Vasectomy reversal is an outpatient surgical procedure to undo a vasectomy and reconnect the pathway for sperm to reach a man’s semen. Vasectomy reversal is performed under anesthesia with a special microscope by a fellowship-trained urologic surgeon, Thomas Jaffe, MD. Patients return home the day of the surgery, and a full recovery is achieved within about two weeks.

Two surgical techniques or a combination of the two are used for vasectomy reversal:

  • Your surgeon reconnects the ends of each tube that carries sperm to the semen.
  • Your surgeon attaches the vas deferens directly to the small organ at the back of each testicle that holds sperm.

Learn more: Vasectomy Reversal FAQ

Vasectomy Reversal FAQ

How is vasectomy reversal performed?
The procedure can be done as an outpatient surgery with anesthesia. Most often, the cut ends of the vas deferens are reattached. In some cases, the ends of the vas are joined to the epididymis. When the tubes are joined, sperm can flow into the semen again. A vasectomy reversal usually takes about three to four hours for the surgeon to complete.

How effective is a vasectomy reversal?
The likelihood of sperm being present in a man’s semen after a vasectomy reversal is very high (about 95 percent), but this does not guarantee pregnancy. Pregnancy rates typically vary from 30 to 70 percent after a vasectomy, depending on the age, health, and fertility of the female partner.

Are there any side effects from vasectomy reversal?
Side effects are typically minimal and usually include swelling, pain, bruising, or a chance of mild scarring. Vasectomy reversal does not have any effect on potency or urinary function.

Is there an age limit to receiving a vasectomy reversal?
While there is no age limit for a vasectomy reversal, the amount of time that has passed since the vasectomy helps to predict how likely it will be for a surgeon to be able to put the two ends of the vas deferens back together. Schedule a consultation with a WVU Medicine urologist to discuss your likelihood of a successful vasectomy reversal.

How long does it take to recover from vasectomy reversal?
Recovery varies and can take anywhere from five days to two weeks. For the first couple of days after surgery, you’ll need to rest and apply ice to the surgical site to reduce swelling. To keep the surgery site dry, you’ll have to avoid bathing or swimming for a couple of days also. For the first four weeks after vasectomy reversal, avoiding heavy lifting and sexual intercourse, so that you can heal properly.

Does a vasectomy reversal effect sperm quality?
The sperm quality should return to normal about three to six months following a reversal as it takes that long for the testicles to make new sperm. At first, sperm count may be lower after a reversal due to partial blockage or scarring.

Will my insurance cover vasectomy reversal?
Vasectomy reversal may be expensive, and your insurance might not cover it. Contact your insurance provider before you have the procedure.