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Everything You Need to Know About a Vasectomy Reversal

**Okanagan Health Surgical No Longer Offers Vasectomies**

A vasectomy is often considered a permanent method of birth control but did you know that a person can get a vasectomy reversal in order to become fertile again? 

While a vasectomy is still considered a reliable and permanent form of contraception, advances in microsurgery have made it possible to reverse this procedure, even up to 15 years later.

There could be many reasons why a man would want a vasectomy reversal, including:

  • divorce
  • remarriage
  • change in financial situation
  • a change in decision about family life

Vasectomy & Vasectomy Reversal at our Kelowna Private Hospital

At our Kelowna hospital, our team of surgeons are qualified in both vasectomy and vasectomy reversal procedures. Whatever your needs, we can help you achieve all your goals safely and effectively.

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What is a Vasectomy Reversal?

A vasectomy reversal is surgery that is carried out to undo a vasectomy. It is usually done on an outpatient basis and under general anesthesia. Your doctor will reconnect each tube that carries the sperm from a testicle into the semen.

How successful is a vasectomy reversal?

The rate of pregnancy after a vasectomy reversal can be lower than before a vasectomy was done.

The procedure has a high rate of success but this also depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • the experience and skill of your surgeon
  • the age and fertility of your female partner
  • the time since your vasectomy (the reversal is harder the longer ago you had the vasectomy)
  • the return of moving sperm


Vasectomy Removal Consultation

While a vasectomy removal is typically a simple, outpatient procedure that requires no overnight hospital stay, it’s important to have a consultation prior to the surgery.

During this consultation, your doctor will:

  1. Take a medical exam and do a physical: this is to make sure you have no other health problems that may cause complications during or after surgery.
  2. Confirm that healthy sperm can be produced. In most cases, a man having fathered a child before is evidence enough, but if there is uncertainty, additional testing may be required.
  3. Review your surgical history. It’s important for your doctor to know about any previous surgeries or injuries you’ve had before to know if there is anything that will interfere with the vasectomy removal.
  4. Consider blood tests. These may be recommended for men with issues of sexual function or who have an abnormal physical exam.


What are the risks involved with this procedure?

While a vasectomy reversal procedure is typically straightforward, as with any surgery, there are always risks. The most common risk is that full fertility doesn’t resume. Other risks include:

  • chronic pain and infection
  • inadequate sperm count
  • hematoma
  • bleeding
  • bruising and swelling
  • testicular atrophy

Any complications from this procedure are very rare and unlikely, so long as you observe your surgeon’s follow-up instructions and your recovery is managed properly.


Recovering From a Vasectomy Reversal

To ensure the safest, most satisfactory results from your procedure, it’s important to know what to expect from your recovery period and to follow all of your doctor’s post-op instructions. Here are some things you should know about the vasectomy reversal recovery period:

  • you will be advised to wear a jockstrap for support for up to 6 weeks
  • wetting the surgical area should be avoided for at least 2 days after surgery
  • you will experience some soreness after the surgery for a few days. Applying ice can help with any discomfort
  • for the first 48 hours, it’s recommended that you limit your physical activity and rest as much as possible
  • for at least 4 weeks avoid activities that cause the treatment area to move around too much such as working out, jogging, or biking
  • sexual intercourse should be avoided until a doctor has advised it’s safe to do so

NOTE: You will not know how successful your vasectomy reversal is until your sperm evaluation has been done several months later. Once the sperm count returns to adequate levels, your chances of conception improve.


**Okanagan Health Surgical No Longer Offers Vasectomies**

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