Once-upon-a-time a vasectomy (or “the snip” as it is sometimes known colloquially) was considered to be a non-reversible procedure. Today, we here at Broadgate Clinic London Wall are pleased to confirm that thanks to the advancements in micro surgery, both in terms of having a vasectomy itself, and reversing it, reversal is now universally accepted as being not only wholly possible, but wholly successful too.
In instances where men underwent their vasectomies less than 10 years ago, the success rates of a reversal procedure are well in excess of 90%. There are now several vasectomy reversal clinics here in the UK, and Broadgate Clinic London Wall can provide you with a list of those operating closest to you.
What is a vasectomy?
A vasectomy is a male sterilisation procedure. It is considered to be much simpler to perform than female sterilisation. The procedure involves severing the “vas deferens.” This is the medical name given to the tube that carries sperm from the testicles to the penis. Although a vasectomised man can still experience orgasm, sperm is no longer able to get into the semen that is ejaculated.
The vasectomy procedure
A vasectomy is normally carried out under a local anaesthetic. In some instances it is performed under a general anaesthetic, according to individual circumstances. Where a local anaesthetic is used, it is injected into small areas of skin on each side of the scrotum, just above the testicles. A small incision is then made into the numbed areas.
Once the vas deferens has been located, it is then cut with either a scalpel or by diathermy; diathermy being a process whereby an electrical current cuts the skin and simultaneously stops any bleeding. Most modern day vasectomies are carried out via diathermy, and this is the main reason for the high success rates in being able to reverse the procedure today; that and the improvements in delicate micro-surgery.
The operation only takes approximately 15 minutes, and the patient is able to leave the clinic a short while after the procedure has been completed. A patient will normally experience some slight pain and bruising which usually disappears after a few days.
The vasectomy reversal procedure
A vasectomy reversal procedure is a much more delicate operation than the vasectomy itself. It involves locating the site of the vasectomy procedure, excising any scar tissue, and then delicately rejoining the ends of the severed vas deferens. The join is carried out using a very fine suture which is almost invisible to the naked eye. The operation is carried by a skilled urological surgeon using a powerful electro-microscope.
Whereas a vasectomy operation only takes about 15 minutes to perform, the reversal operation usually takes somewhere between 2 and 2.5 hours to complete. The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic, and patients are normally required to stay at the hospital/clinic overnight to fully recover for the anaesthesia.
The technical name for a vasectomy reversal procedure is a vasovasostomy. In instances where the ends of the severed vas deferens are too scarred to allow the passage of sperm, a procedure known as a vasoepididymostomy is performed. This procedure involves the joining of the vas deferens directly to the epididymis; the name given to the area close to the surface of the testicles, where sperm is stored.
Contacting Broadgate Clinic London Wall regarding a vasectomy reversal
If you would like to find out more about the vasectomy reversal operation, you can drop into the walk-in clinic we here at Broadgate Clinic London Wall operate in the heart of the city, and chat to one of our specialist doctors. Alternatively call us on 020 7638 4330.