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Vasectomy reversal success rates & results at YVRC

The results of the surgery depend on a number of factors, but the most important factor is the time between the original vasectomy and the time of the reversal surgery. Although the results are better for men who undergo a vasectomy reversal within 10 years of the original vasectomy, the operation can be successful at any time.

Time elapsed since vasectomy and results from surgery

Time Elapsed Sperm Present Pregnancy Rate
0-3 years 97% 76%
3-10 years Greater than 90% 50%
10-15 years Greater than 80% 45%
More Than 15 Years 70% 30%

The reason that the results of surgery change with time is due to the backpressure that a vasectomy produces on the epididymis (the delicate structure that the sperm pass through after they have left the testicle before they enter the vas). Over time the pressure can build up in the epididymis due to the blocked vas, and this leads to so called "blow outs" in the epididymis, which leads to scarring and blockage of the tubes up stream from the site of the original vasectomy. In men where this has happened a standard vasectomy reversal may not work and the surgeon may have to perform a more complex procedure called an epididymovasostomy to get the sperm swimming again.

During a vasectomy reversal the surgeon can predict whether an epididymovasostomy is needed by looking at the fluid which comes from the vas when the scar tissue at the site of the previous is removed. An epididymovasostomy may be needed in 10-15% of patients who undergo a vasectomy and this procedure is an extremely delicate procedure which requires exquisite microsurgical skills to get good results.

You will see from the above table that a "successful" vasectomy reversal i.e. sperm are present in the semen, does not always result in a pregnancy. This may be due to the presence of antibodies which can coat the sperm and may prevent natural conception

Other factors that are important in ultimately determining the success of an operation include the age of the female partner and the type of surgery used (microsurgical vasectomy reversal is the preferred method).

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