Vasectomy reversal facts

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:47 pm
A vasectomy (vah-SEK-tuh-mee) is a sterilization procedure that severs the vas deferens (vahs DEF-er-enz), which is the tube that transports sperm from the testicles. In most cases, it's possible to reverse this operation, and reconnect a path through which sperm can travel. Microsurgical techniques have greatly improved the success rate of reversals. When a vasectomy is reversed within the first two years or so, about 75 percent of couples are able to conceive. However, this percentage drops off rapidly, the longer you wait between the operations. There are two major types of vasectomy reversal. The most common involves re-joining the ends of the vas deferens. Another method is to attach the vas deferens directly to the epididymis, the structure in the testicles which acts as a sperm reservoir. This procedure is more complex, and associated with lower rates of pregnancy. It's performed only when inflammation or scarring has blocked the epididymis, preventing sperm from leaving. Another factor that may influence your outcome is the location of your previous vasectomy. Operations that were performed farther away from the testicle are generally easier to reverse, because they tend to leave a longer piece of the vas deferens tube intact. For more information on vasectomy reversal, consult a surgical specialist.

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