The vas (or vas deferens) is the tube which transports sperm away from the testicle. A vasectomy is the surgical division of this tube. A vasectomy reversal aims to restore this tube so that sperm can once more be transported out of the testicle to restore your fertility.
The operation will be performed at The Park hospital, just North of Nottingham.
You will be placed under general anaesthetic (deeply asleep) and the site of the previous operation is found. Scar tissue has to be removed and then the two ends need to be joined together in a delicate microsurgical procedure using sutures that are thinner than a human hair. Joining the ends of the vas together like this is called vaso-vasostomy. You can understand how difficult this procedure can be and why an experienced surgeon is vital to a successful outcome. The use of an operating microscope is vital to the outcome and is recommended by the European Association of Urology.
The surgeon will check that the tubes are free from any blockage before repairing them. If the scarred ends are not suitable for joining together then an alternative operation can be carried out where the vas is joined to the epididymis (epididymo-vasostomy).
Once the repair has been completed, the incision is closed using fine stitches underneath the skin which will dissolve on their own.
For pain control, whilst you are still asleep, special injections of long-acting local anaesthetic are injected around the nerves around the scrotum. This usually provides excellent pain relief for 8-10 hours.
Sperm retrieval and strorage
We can offer sperm saving at the time of the operation. This should be considered particularly if your vasectomy was done many years ago when the chances of success are lower. The sperm are retrieved and frozen and can be used for IVF at a later date if needed. This needs to be talked about in detail and you will require blood tests beforehand.
What happens after the operation?
The operation can take up to 2 hours and you should plan to stay overnight.
You may feel bruised for a day or two and you should avoid any vigorous activity for 7-10 days. The wound should be healed by that time.
A semen analysis is carried out at around 3 months but it can sometimes take longer for sperm to appear. You can imagine the vasectomy has created a blockage which is overcome by the reversal and the old sperm and debris need to be flushed out before normal service can be resumed. Also fresh sperm take up to 75 days to mature. Most couples conceive at around the 12 month mark.