Vasectomy Reversal Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why should a specialist perform a vasectomy reversal?

A male fertility specialist has been specially trained to perform microsurgical vasectomy reversals. The specialist is also trained in male infertility and can provide proper consultation about your options. Dr. Bar-Chama exclusively focuses on men's sexual health and infertility. As such, he is experienced in the delicate microsurgical techniques needed to perform a successful vasectomy reversal.

2. Do you perform your vasectomy reversals in your office or at a hospital?

RMA of New York has a fully accredited operating suite on-site at our Manhattan location. The operating suite is certified by the American Association for the Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities. The recovery room is staffed by professional registered nurses.

3. Can all vasectomies be reversed?

The vast majority of vasectomies can be reversed either by performing a vasovasostomy or if need be a vasoepidydymostomy. These different reversal techniques are used based on the results of your physical exam, consultation with Dr. Bar-Chama and intraoperative findings.

4. My vasectomy was done years ago. How does it affect my chances for a successful reversal?

While the interval between the vasectomy and the reversal is correlated with success rate, there is no 'cut-off' date for a reversal. Men with intervals greater than 20 years have undergone the procedure with success. Following the procedure, approximately 70-95% of men have sperm appear in their semen, and 30-75% of couples become pregnant without assisted reproductive technology.

5. What type of anesthesia do you use?

Anesthesiologists (doctors who specialize in delivery of anesthesia during surgery) will provide intravenous sedation with general anesthesia. You will be breathing on your own, and will quickly wake up after your procedure is over.

6. What will the recovery be like?

Recovery down time is minimal. For the day of the surgery and one day after, you will want to take it easy. There will be bruising and swelling of the scrotum, which will generally resolve in less than a week. You can expect to return to normal activities within a couple of days, although we ask you to avoid sex for 4 weeks after the procedure to allow the delicate tissue in the vas deferens to adequately heal. You will go home with pain pills to manage any post operative discomfort, but most men report that they do not need to use anything stronger than Tylenol or Ibuprofen after the first week. We will also provide you with written instructions to assist in your recovery at home following the procedure.

7. What kind of follow up is required?

You will have a post-operative appointment 10-14 days after the surgery, simply to ensure you are healing as expected. The sutures placed during the procedure will not need to be removed, as they will dissolve.

If you are traveling to New York for the vasectomy reversal procedure, we can arrange for a telephone follow up with our team and an exam with your local physician.

In addition, your nurse coordinator will be available to you throughout your recovery period.

8. How soon can I have sex after the surgery?

You must wait 4 weeks to have sex in order to prevent damage to the delicate repair that was done.

9. How long after the surgery will it take for sperm to appear?

Sperm can appear as soon as one month after the procedure, yet routinely semen analysis are first performed 2 months after the procedure and then monthly after.

10. Is there a chance that my sperm count will decline after the vasectomy reversal?

Yes, "transient patency" can occur with delayed blockage of the anastomosis at 6 months or later. This occurs about 3% of the time in successful reversals. Consideration of sperm cryopreservation either during the vasectomy reversal or when sperm is noted in the ejaculate are discussed and offered to all of our patients.

11. How soon can I expect a pregnancy to occur after a vasectomy reversal?

A pregnancy can sometimes occur as soon as the first month after the surgery, but typically can take several months and on occasion sometimes greater than a year. Post vasectomy semen parameters as well as the female partner's fertility status significantly impacts pregnancy rates.

12. How long after surgery do I schedule a semen analysis?

The first semen analysis takes place at 2 months.

13. Does health insurance cover vasectomy reversal?

Health insurance typically does not cover vasectomy reversals but there are exceptions. Our financial coordinators will meet with you at your initial consultation to discuss costs and financial options.

Dr. Natan Bar-Chama
Discusses Vasectomy Reversal at RMA of New York

Dr. Natan Bar-Chama
Vasectomy Reversal Specialist

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