As an experienced vasectomy reversal consultant, leading London male health expert Mr Suks Minhas frequently sees patients who have previously had a vasectomy, but now wish to reverse the procedure in order to try for another pregnancy. To enquire about the procedure or book a consultation, use our online enquiry form or call us on +44 (0)20 7224 5089
What is a vasectomy reversal?
Vasectomy reversal means a surgical procedure to reverse or undo a previous vasectomy – a safe, long-term form of male contraception that involves de-connecting or tying off the vas deferens (the tubes that transport sperm from the testes to the urethra), so that sperm can no longer be released from the penis during intercourse. You can find more information about the procedure on our Vasectomy page and in our vasectomy information videos.
Although vasectomies are generally considered a permanent contraceptive method, it is theoretically possible to reverse them. This involves a separate surgical procedure to rejoin the vas deferens, so that sperm can once again be carried from the testes and exit the penis.
How is a vasectomy reversal performed?
Mr Minhas specialises in minimally invasive micro-surgical vasectomy reversal techniques, where the procedure is carried out via an operating microscope. Incisions are made on the scrotum, and then the vas deferens are reconnected under the microscope and stitched up using very fine suture material, which is not visible to the naked eye.
The procedure is performed under general anaesthetic and can take up to three hours. You’ll need a week off work to recover afterwards but any discomfort should improve relatively quickly. However, we advise that you wait a month before attempting sexual intercourse, as doing so sooner may hinder the healing process.
In some cases, a more complex procedure called a vaso-epididostomy (also known as a vasoepididymostomy) is necessary, which involves joining the vas deferens to the epididymis. Mr Minhas is able to perform this at the same time if this is required.
Vasectomy reversal risks and success rates
All surgical procedures carry a degree of risk, including the risk of infection and bleeding. While these are generally minimal and providing the highest level of care and aftercare is always our top priority, it’s important to be fully informed and aware of any associated risks before going ahead with a procedure, and we will discuss these with you ahead of the surgery.
In addition, vasectomy reversals are not always 100% successful. The key factor here is the length of time since the vasectomy was carried out, as vasectomy reversal success rates reduce with time. If it’s been five years or less since the vasectomy was performed, the chances of a successful reversal are generally very high. In some cases, factors such as the level of scar tissue may affect the suitability and success of the procedure. Our information video on vasectomy reversal success rates explains more.
Are there other options if vasectomy reversal doesn’t work?
Yes – sperm retrieval techniques are still an option for helping couples wishing to get pregnant again following a vasectomy. PESA can be used to extract sperm and used for IVF. One of the most common procedures, TESE, involves retrieving sperm directly from the testes. Mr Minhas can also perform this during vasectomy reversal surgery too, so that the sperm can be frozen as a back-up option in case the reversal is not successful.
You can find more information about these procedures on our Sperm Retrieval Techniques page.