Sunday, November 23, 2008

Can my husband's secret vasectomy be reversed?

I read this on a vasectomy reversal online community.

"I’m so overwhelmed.

My husband had a vasectomy done this past May behind my back (yep, consultation and all). After talking he realized his mistake and has agreed to a reversal.

DH said the doctor who did the vasectomy told him he could do a reversal if he ever needed one. So, I called the office to set up a consultation and was informed that this doctor is not a urologist, but a family physician, and so cannot do a reversal. So, now I’m afraid that the vasectomy was done so well (or bad) that a reversal isn’t possible.

I have called and made a consultation appointment with an actual urologist, but it isn’t until January.

I guess I need just a little reassurance that a successful reversal is still possible."

I'd like to comment here.

  1. In this case, the vasectomy was done within the last year. A vas reversal could be done successfully on this type of patient 95 times out of 100, or even better.
  2. A standard vasectomy requires the surgeon to remove only a short segment of the vas. Most vasectomists only remove a segment 2-5mm in length. The length of segment removed is not a factor that influences the success rate of a future vas reversal.
  3. Success rates for vas reversals vary for a variety of reasons. Among these reasons are: surgeon skill, time interval since the vasectomy was done, presence of sperm in the vasal fluid at the time of surgery.
  4. A "well done" vasectomy is a vasectomy that renders a man sterile. A vas deferens or associated "tubing" does not need to be totally destroyed to accomplish this goal.
  5. A urologist that does 1-2 vas reversals per year does not possess the same micro-surgical skills as does a vas reversal surgeon that does several vas reversals per month, or even more.
I hope this unfortunate woman finds this post and gets some relief from the stress she is experiencing.

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Dr S.