Vasectomy reversal: a clinical update

Asian J Androl. May-Jun 2016;18(3):365-71. doi: 10.4103/1008-682X.175091.

Abstract

Vasectomy is a safe and effective method of contraception used by 42-60 million men worldwide. Approximately 3%-6% of men opt for a vasectomy reversal due to the death of a child or divorce and remarriage, change in financial situation, desire for more children within the same marriage, or to alleviate the dreaded postvasectomy pain syndrome. Unlike vasectomy, vasectomy reversal is a much more technically challenging procedure that is performed only by a minority of urologists and places a larger financial strain on the patient since it is usually not covered by insurance. Interest in this procedure has increased since the operating microscope became available in the 1970s, which consequently led to improved patency and pregnancy rates following the procedure. In this clinical update, we discuss patient evaluation, variables that may influence reversal success rates, factors to consider in choosing to perform vasovasostomy versus vasoepididymostomy, and the usefulness of vasectomy reversal to alleviate postvasectomy pain syndrome. We also review the use of robotics for vasectomy reversal and other novel techniques and instrumentation that have emerged in recent years to aid in the success of this surgery.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Pain / surgery*
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microsurgery / methods*
  • Pain, Postoperative / surgery*
  • Patient Selection*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Prognosis
  • Testicular Diseases / surgery*
  • Urologic Surgical Procedures, Male / methods
  • Vasovasostomy / methods*