A vasectomy is a surgical procedure that stops sperm from mixing with semen. About 500,000 vasectomies are performed each year in the United States, and the procedure is almost 100% effective at preventing pregnancy.
Vasectomies are an option for men who don’t want to have children in the future. But even the best-laid plans can change, and up to 10% of men who get vasectomies change their minds down the road.
If you’ve had a vasectomy but now you want the option to father a child, it’s time to learn more about vasectomy reversal. Eric K. Seaman, MD, specializes in vasectomy reversal techniques, and he wants to help you understand how it works.
There are a few different methods to reverse a vasectomy, and reversals range from 50-90% effective. The best method for you depends on your age, health, and how long it’s been since you had your vasectomy.
Vasectomy reversal is an outpatient procedure that may take two to four hours. Our team administers general anesthesia to keep you comfortable, and Dr. Seaman reconnects the vas deferens tubes that carry sperm to mix with semen.
Immediately after vasectomy reversal
Once your procedure is complete, Dr. Seaman closes the incision and covers it with bandages. Dr. Seaman uses no-scalpel, no-needle vasectomies, so the incision is tiny.
Vasectomy reversal is performed on an outpatient basis, so there’s no need to stay in the hospital overnight. If the team used general anesthesia, we may keep you under observation for about an hour as you wake up.
Be sure to bring tight, supportive underwear or an athletic supporter to your appointment. After surgery, you’ll put on this supportive undergarment and have a friend or family member drive you home.
Healing at home
Plan to stay home for a few days after vasectomy reversal. Apply ice for over the first 24-48 hours to minimize swelling and keep pain at bay.
Avoid getting your incision wet for the first two days. Patients can have a quick shower the next day and remove the bandages the next day. If stitches were used to close your incision, they should dissolve on their own in about 2 weeks.
Continue avoiding vigorous activities like jogging, biking, and heavy lifting for six to eight weeks after surgery. If you have a job that requires physical labor, you may need to return to work slowly. If you have a desk job, you may be able to return to work in just a few days.
After vasectomy reversal, it’s important to follow the doctor’s orders regarding sexual activity. Most men need to wait two to three weeks before having sex or ejaculating following vasectomy reversal surgery.
Attend all your follow up appointments, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions as your body heals.
Your outlook after vasectomy reversal
Once Dr. Seaman gives you the go ahead, you can resume having sexual intercourse with your partner. We check your sperm count at some point after your vasectomy reversal, looking for sperm in your semen to determine if the procedure was successful.
Some men find that sperm reappears in semen within a few weeks after surgery. For others, it can take a year or longer for sperm to mix with semen again.
Your chances of achieving pregnancy will vary depending on a few different factors. Your sperm count and the quality of the sperm, as well as your partner’s age and health all play a role.
If vasectomy reversal isn’t successful, talk to Dr. Seaman about your options. Sometimes, pregnancy can be achieved with frozen sperm and in vitro fertilization.
Are you regretting your vasectomy? A vasectomy reversal could be a good option for you. Find out more with a confidential consultation. Contact us online or call our office in Millburn, New Jersey, for an appointment.