What is Vasectomy Reversal?
A vasectomy reversal, or vasovasostomy, is a surgical procedure to reconnect the tubes that are cut during a vasectomy (Figure 1). These tubes (called the vas deferens) are each about the size of a strand of spaghetti, and the channels in the tubes that conduct sperm are barely visible to the naked eye. Sperm production continues after a vasectomy, but with no place to go the sperm are reabsorbed. During the reversal, the vas deferens is cut above and below the site of the previous vasectomy, and the two ends are precisely aligned. Dr. Gould always uses an operative microscope and performs a “three-layer” connection (Figure 2). Less precise procedures are performed by some doctors because they take less time and do not require as much surgical skill. In the United States, physicians are currently performing about 500,000 vasectomies per year. About 1 percent of men (1 out of 100) who have had a vasectomy will decide to undergo a reversal. The technique used for the vasectomy is largely