Vasectomy reversal



Vasectomy reversal may be performed for men who have previously had a vasectomy, but who now wish to try and father a child again. Most commonly this occurs because of a change in personal circumstances, such as a new relationship.

Mr Zakikhani is happy to see men considering having a vas reversal.  He will perform an examination of the testicles, and then he will discuss the surgery, possible complications and post-operative recovery period with you. It is helpful if both partners attend the consultation. So he can answer any questions. 

What does a vasectomy reversal procedure involve?

A full general anaesthetic (where you will be asleep throughout the procedure) will be used. The operation is performed through two incisions at the side of the scrotum and the ends of the tubes are re-joined using a microscope. The microscope allows good visualisation of the lumen of the vas, which is very small, and allows for accurate suture placement. Because of the delicate nature of the surgery, the operation usually takes three hours.

A picture through the microscope showing the ends of the vas tubes being sewn together.



What are the success rates of vasectomy reversals?

A number of factors affect the success of the procedure. The most important factor is the length of time since the vasectomy was performed. The results are better the more recently the vasectomy was performed, with a chance of over 90% of sperm returning to the ejaculate of the vasectomy was performed less than 3 years ago, to 70% if the vasectomy was performed over 15 years ago. These results are those from a large multi centre study (i.e. more than one surgeon) in the USA.


Other factors which can affect the chance of success of the operation or the chance of pregnancy, which the operation cannot correct for account for, include:

  • Age of female partner: The age of your partner is a key factor. A woman’s peak fertility is early in the third decade of life. As she ages beyond 35 years (and particularly after age 40 years), the likelihood of becoming pregnant is less than 10% per month. This does not mean that you should not have the operation done if your partner is nearing this age, but it is important that you realize that even if sperm return to your ejaculate, your partner may not become pregnant.
  • Female menstrual or ovulatory difficulties: if your partner has menstrual or ovulatory difficulties, it is best for her to be seen by a gynecologist prior to considering you undergoing treatment.
  • Lifestyle issues: Alcohol, obesity, smoking and recreational drugs can affect sperm function, and so should be avoided.