Is a Vasectomy Easily Reversed?
Whether or not a vasectomy can be easily reversed is a frequently asked question in online communities and deserves a thorough answer. While it is true that vasectomies can be successfully reversed, the term ‘easy’ is relative.
In the hands of a skilled microsurgeon who performs these procedures regularly, most straight-forward vasectomy reversals are relatively easy. Unfortunately, not all couples know about physicians who specialize in this field. Other doctors without the unique skills, training, and experience will often attempt to perform a vasectomy reversal themselves, rather than referring the patient to a male fertility specialist. The result can be an unsuccessful reversal, or in some cases, other complications. For the best chance of success, a man who is interested in a vasectomy reversal should consult with a doctor who specializes in performing them.
Studies have shown that the outcome of vasectomy reversal surgery is strongly influenced by the technique of the surgeon who performs the procedure, so it is crucial for prospective patients to do some homework. While it is true that failed vasectomy reversals can be repaired, the first attempt at reversal is the simplest, typically the most cost-efficient, and affords couples the soonest chance at conception.
So, how can you know whether the doctor you’re consulting with performs vasectomy reversal procedures regularly and with success? You’re going to have to get comfortable with asking some questions. The type of surgeon you’re looking for will have no trouble or discomfort with answering them. First, asking about the surgeon’s success rate is a good start, but it won’t tell you everything you need to know. A good track record with few cases isn’t really what you want. What you want is a high success rate with a high number of vasectomy reversal cases performed. Another good idea is to ask to speak with some of the surgeon’s patients who have already undergone the procedure. Again, there should be no issue with the surgeon or his staff on giving you a name or two and contact information for patients who are willing to share their experience.
Nearly half a million men undergo vasectomy procedures each year, and over time, approximately 5 percent will change their minds and decide to undergo a vasectomy reversal. At the Center for Male Reproductive Medicine (CMRM) in Los Angeles, we have more than 40 years of experience in helping that five percent of men with realizing their dream to renew fertility. To this end, we have assisted more than 20,000 couples with their reproductive goals while Achieving a success rate of over 98% for men who have sperm present at the time of vasectomy reversal surgery. As the director at CMRM, I am proud to have pioneered and then perfected the microsurgical vasectomy reversal techniques necessary to ensure this exemplary success rate. But perhaps most importantly, our office walls are lined, floor to ceiling, with baby pictures and announcements. This is the “proof” we are most proud of and the reason we continue to be so committed to helping couples achieve their dreams of becoming parents.