Vasectomy reversal is usually performed in an outpatient setting or surgery center. It typically does not require a hospital stay. Reversal is more difficult than a vasectomy itself. Your doctor will likely choose one of two common methods: vasovasostomy, in which the two ends of the severed vas deferens are reconnected, or vasoepididymostomy, in which the vas deferens is connected directly to the tube on the back of each testicle (the epididymis). A vasoepididymostomy is more complicated than a vasovasostomy and is usually performed only if a vasovasostomy cannot be done.
Your doctor’s decision about which procedure to perform will be made once the procedure begins and your doctor can determine the health of your vas deferens and sperm. During the procedure, you will be under local anesthesia. Your doctor will make a small incision in your scrotum to access the testicles and examine the condition of your vas deferens.
Similar to the vasectomy, after the procedure, you will be sent home to recover using ice packs and mild pain relief medications. You will need to take it easy for several days as the swelling and discomfort subsides. Your doctor will give you complete post-operative instructions. Sexual activity should not resume without your doctor’s OK.
Vasectomy reversal is considered successful if sperm returns to the ejaculate, which can take several months, and sometimes a year or more. Your doctor will examine your ejaculate about six weeks after surgery to determine if sperm is present. These examinations will continue every two or three months—unless, of course, your partner becomes pregnant. In general, vasectomy reversal success rates decline as time passes from the original vasectomy.