Lakeshore Urology

Lakeshore Urology , PLC
Serving Grand Haven, Muskegon, Shelby and the Lakeshore of West Michigan  (616) 604-8363

Vasectomy Reversal (Vasovasostomy)

Vasectomy Reversal (Vasovasostomy)

Vasectomy reversal (known as vasovasostomy) is used to allow men to father children after a vasectomy. Vasectomy is for all intents and purposes considered a permanent form of birth control, and success can be limited by many factors.

A vasectomy reversal reconnects the tubes (vas deferens)  that were cut severed during a vasectomy. Dr. Fleming usually performs this procedure in an outpatient setting-- that is, without an overnight stay in the hospital.  It is usually done under general anesthesia in order to keep you completely motionless during the procedure.

Risks and Barriers to Success:
The chances of having a successful vasectomy reversal depends on several things.  One important factor is how long it has been since the vasectomy.  Over time, some men develop antibodies to their own sperm, and additional blockages can occur in the severed vas.  This can make the surgery more complicated, taking more time in the operating room.  

Overall, vasectomy reversals are successful (by leading to pregnancy) over 50 percent of the time. Men who have had their vasectomy less than three years prior have the greatest success.  Men who have had their vasectomies longer than ten years prior have the least success, leading to pregnancy only about 30 percent of the time. (1)

Before the procedure, Dr. Fleming will want to confirm that you were fertile (able to have children) prior to the vasectomy.  Testing will also be obtained to see whether your semen contains sperm antibodies before and after your procedure.  If your semen contains sperm antibodies after the vasectomy reversal, it is highly unlikely that you can cause a pregnancy. 

As with any surgery, there is risk of bleeding, infection, damage to adjacent tissues, failure, anesthetic reaction, post procedure discomfort.

After Vasectomy Reversal Surgery
Dr. Fleming's vasectomy reversal procedures usually take between two and four hours with at least an hour to recover from the general anesthesia.  Most often, you go home on the same day, and you will need a driver.

Post vasectomy reversal discomfort is usually mild to moderate, often controlled with tylenol or ibuprofen.  Most men are able to resume their normal activities including sex in less than three weeks.

(1) Speroff L, Darney PD (2005). Sterilization. In A Clinical Guide for Contraception, 4th ed., pp. 359-386. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Post Procedure Instructions:


  • Apply ice to the scrotum for the first few days
  • Wear a scrotal support for the first week
  • No lifting for two weeks
  • No sex for 3 weeks

You can expect:

  1. Moderate swelling and bruising for several weeks

You should call the office:

  • If you develop a temperature of 100.6 or greater
  • If there is unexplained pain or swelling in the scrotum
  • If the incision site becomes warm, red, painful to the touch, or leaks fluid.
  • If you are not contacted for a follow up appointment one business day after your surgery
  • If you develop calf tenderness or swelling