How you prepareBy Mayo Clinic staff
When considering vasectomy reversal, here are a few of things to think about:
- Vasectomy reversal may be expensive, and your health insurance might not cover it. Find out about costs ahead of time.
- Vasectomy reversals are generally most successful when they're done by a surgeon who uses a surgical microscope (microsurgical technique).
- The procedure is most successful when performed by a surgeon who has done the procedure many times.
When choosing a doctor, don't be afraid to ask questions about how many vasectomy reversals the doctor has done, the type of techniques used and how often the vasectomy reversals have resulted in pregnancy. Also ask about the risks and potential complications of the procedure.
Before vasectomy reversal surgery, your doctor will likely want to:
- Take your history and perform a physical exam. Your doctor will want to make sure that you don't have health concerns that could complicate surgery.
- Check to see whether you can produce healthy sperm. For most men, having gotten a woman pregnant before is proof enough. If your doctor is unsure whether you are producing healthy sperm, you may need a testicular biopsy. In this test, a needle is used to remove fluid from your testicles to check for sperm.
- Confirm that your partner is capable of having a child. Your doctor will want to see whether your partner has any fertility problems, especially if she has never had a child or is older than age 35. This may require a gynecological examination and other tests.
Make sure you know what steps you need to take before surgery. Your doctor will probably ask you to:
- Stop taking blood-thinning medications. Two weeks before your vasectomy reversal, your doctor may tell you not to take pain relievers such as aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), because they can increase your risk of bleeding. Your doctor may also have you stop taking other medications.
- Bring an athletic supporter to wear after surgery. This will support your scrotum and hold bandages in place.
- Arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery. Surgery generally takes about two to four hours. You may need additional time to recover from anesthesia. Ask your doctor when you can expect to go home after surgery.
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- Hatcher RA, et al. Contraceptive Technology. 20th ed. New York, N.Y.: Ardent Media; 2011:465.
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- Castle EP (expert opinion). Phoenix, Ariz.: Mayo Clinic. December 20, 2012.