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Vasectomy Reversal

Though vasectomies are generally considered a permanent form of birth control, many men change their minds later in life and decide to seek out ways to reverse the procedure. Despite myths to the contrary, vasectomy reversal procedures are not only possible, but fairly common.

At TUCC, our team of urology physicians offers a range of reproductive health services, including vasectomy reversal.

What Is a Vasectomy Reversal?

Around 3 to 6 percent of men who have had a vasectomy will consider having the procedure reversed. Whether it’s a new relationship that puts having children back on the table or another reason altogether, reversing a vasectomy is possible in the capable hands of the urology professionals at TUCC. 

Vasectomy reversal involves rejoining the cut ends of the vas deferens, usually through microsurgery. While the operation is much more complex than the original vasectomy, it is performed in an outpatient setting at TUCC and lasts just a few hours. 

TUCC performs two types of vasectomy reversal procedures: 

  • Vasovasostomy
  • Vasoepididymostomy

Both procedures are more complicated than the original vasectomy, and there is typically a longer recovery period for patients. If you are coming from out of town for your vasectomy reversal, a TUCC physician will typically see you the day before your surgery, and it’s usually safe to return home the day after the procedure.

TUCC’s Dr. Richard Heppe Demystifies Vasectomy Reversals

With more than 30 years of experience with vasectomy reversal procedures, it’s safe to say that Dr. Richard Heppe can offer valuable insights to patients rethinking their vasectomies. To learn more about the procedures from one of Colorado’s foremost experts, watch these two videos:

What Is the Success Rate of Reversing a Vasectomy?

The success rate of a reverse vasectomy depends on several different factors, all of which your doctor will review with you during a consultation. Generally speaking, the success rate for reverse vasectomies performed at TUCC is incredibly high.

If it’s been 5 years or less since your initial vasectomy, the success rate of the reversal and having sperm in your ejaculate is more than 90 percent. While the success rate tends to decrease over time, TUCC physicians have successfully reversed vasectomies on patients 20 years after the initial procedure.

Consultation with Urologist

Though a reverse vasectomy is considered a minor, outpatient surgery, it is still recommended that patients consult with a urologist before undergoing the procedure. At TUCC, a compassionate team of experts can assess your health, as well as the needs of you and your partner. Working together, we will determine the best course of treatment for your reverse vasectomy, whether that is a vasovasostomy or vasoepididymostomy.

Before Your Reverse Vasectomy

As with any health procedure, preparing for a reverse vasectomy begins by discussing options with your physician. A consultation with a TUCC urologist will include a review of any preoperative instructions, along with a review of any current medications or health conditions. 

You will receive the following pre-procedure instructions:

  • Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before the surgery.
  • Eliminate the use of blood thinners, such as aspirin, and anti-inflammatory medications in days leading up to the surgery.
  • Shave the front portion of your scrotum the day of your procedure.
  • Bring loose-fitting clothing and an athletic supporter on the day of the surgery; you will wear this clothing after the reverse vasectomy.
  • Arrange for someone to drive you home following surgery. 

Reverse Vasectomy Procedures

Vasovasostomy and Vasoepididymostomy are the two vasectomy reversal procedures used to bypass any obstruction in the male genital tract. A vasectomy cuts the tubes that carry the sperm from the testes (the vas deferens or the “vas”). While both reverse vasectomy procedures establish a new connection to allow sperm into the ejaculate, each one has a specific purpose:

Vasovasostomy (VV)

  •  Restores the flow of sperm to the vas deferens. This procedure utilizes an operating microscope and ultrafine sutures to reattach the inner and outer layers of the vas deferens. This procedure can typically be completed in 2.5 to 4 hours.

Vasoepididymostomy (VE)

  • When a vasovasostomy cannot be performed because of inflammation or scarring blocking the epididymis, a vasoepididymostomy is performed. Here, the vas deferens is connected to the epididymis in a new location away from the blockage. The procedure generally takes between 3 and 5 hours to complete.


For anyone considering their options when it comes to male fertility, undergoing a vasectomy reversal offers many advantages over other treatments, such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF). The advantages of a vasectomy reversal include: 

  • A successful reverse vasectomy allows you to conceive naturally, without the constant doctor’s appointments of other treatments. 
  • It’s far more affordable to have a vasectomy reversal than IVF treatment. 
  • The recovery protocol is the same as what follows a vasectomy, so men will know exactly what to expect in terms of mild discomfort, soreness, and over-the-counter pain relief preferences. 
  • There are no additional procedures required after the vasectomy reversal. It is a permanent fix.
  • A vasectomy reversal will not artificially increase the chance of pregnancy. 

Risks or Complications

Other than mild discomfort and some general soreness in the genital area, vasectomy reversals are rarely associated with serious risks or complications. That being said, there are a few potential risks. These include:

  • Scrotal bleeding: A collection of blood (hematoma) could cause painful swelling. This can be avoided by following post-surgery instructions not to overexert yourself and applying ice packs. Avoiding blood-thinning medication before and after surgery can also prevent bleeding. 
  • Infection: Though uncommon, infections are a risk of any surgery. In the event of an infection, treatment will include antibiotics.
  • Chronic pain: While some mild pain is expected, persistent and chronic pain is highly uncommon. 

After the Vasectomy Reversal Procedure

Immediately after a successful vasectomy reversal, your surgeon will cover the incision with bandages. Then, you will dress in an athletic supporter and loose-fitting clothes. It is an outpatient procedure, so you can leave the hospital after the surgery. However, since a general anesthesia is used, you will need a ride home from the surgery center.


If you have a desk job, you can likely return to work a few days after the surgery. If your job involves physical labor or a lot of driving or walking, consult your doctor to determine when you can return to your normal work routine.

Urologist Follow Up

A post-operative follow-up examination evaluates the healing of the surgical wound and is generally recommended to take place around 2 to 3 weeks after the procedure.

Sex Life

After the reverse vasectomy procedure, most physicians recommend waiting 2 weeks before you resume intercourse and/or masturbation. Following that brief waiting period, you can resume your sex life as it was previous to the procedure.


As for general activities, doctors advise patients to limit any movement that causes the testicles to jostle around for a period of about 4 week following surgery. This includes activities such as exercising, biking, or jogging

How Do You Know if the Vasectomy Reversal Worked?

Your TUCC physician will examine your semen under a microscope, looking for sperm. If sperm appears, the reverse vasectomy procedure was a success. Sperm may appear in the semen within a few weeks, but in some cases, it can take up to a year for sperm to appear. Unless your partner becomes pregnant, checking semen periodically for sperm is the only reliable way to check if the vas deferens were successfully reconnected, allowing sperm to flow into the ejaculate.

What if the Vasectomy Reversal Doesn't Work?

In rare cases, the vasectomy reversal does not work. This usually occurs if there is an underlying problem within the testicle that was not recognized before or during the surgery. The procedure could also fail if a blockage develops in the days and weeks following the procedure. If this were to happen, another vasectomy reversal surgery could be performed; however, success rates decrease with the second attempt.

Letters from Patients

TUCC provides a variety of comprehensive male fertility treatment options, such as vasectomy reversals, testicular sperm extraction, sexual function, and microsurgical varicocelectomy. Our highly trained physicians and staff have helped hundreds of patients become pregnant. 

Here is some feedback from our fertility patients who achieved successful results following their treatment at TUCC:

“We wanted to thank you for doing such a wonderful job on the surgery last September. We are so happy to tell you that we are pregnant with a little girl and she is due the first week of October! We know we would not be blessed with such a miracle without you. We are, and always will be, completely grateful to you. Thank you for giving us the greatest gift we could ever hope for.”

“Thanks for helping my wife and I beat the odds! Our daughter will be six months old in a week and we are having a blast. Nice work doc!”

“We are incredibly happy because you gave us the opportunity to get pregnant. We both know that you would not give up during the surgery, for which we are forever grateful. You are a terrific doctor and person which is evident in your ‘bedside manner’ as they say. Now that our wish has come to fruition… Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!”

“There are not enough words in the English dictionary for us to express how grateful we are to you. You gave us hope for a family when doctors in Cheyenne told us that we could forget that dream, that it would never happen and would not even give us a chance. You not only took the chance, you gave us hope and because of you we are now blessed with two beautiful, healthy baby boys.Thank you for making our dreams of having a family come true, you were a gift from God and we can never thank you enough!”

Denver & Lone Tree


Vasectomy Reversal FAQ

No! At TUCC, we’ve performed vasectomy reversals on patients up to 20 years after their vasectomy. Whether it’s been 5, 10, or 20 years, our success rate is high!

Vasectomy reversals are performed by skilled urologists. At TUCC, our urologists who perform this procedure are specialists in the field.

Almost all vasectomies can be reversed! There are rare occurrences where complications make a reversal difficult, but a consultation with a TUCC urologist will identify such instances.

A vasectomy costs about $1,000, usually covered by insurance. Reversals can cost between $8,000 and $10,000, not typically covered by insurance.

An alternative to a vasectomy reversal is sperm retrieval combined with in-vitro fertilization (IVF). This treatment can be prohibitively expensive.

A vasectomy reversal is generally more than 90 percent effective. However, effectiveness decreases the longer it has been since your vasectomy. Having said that, TUCC has performed successful vasectomy reversals on patients whose initial vasectomy occured more than 20 years ago.

Following your vasectomy reversal procedure, your sperm count will increase as your body resumes sperm production.

A vasectomy reversal is a permanent fix. But it is possible to reverse the reversal!

The quality of your sperm should return to normal levels 3 to 6 months after the reversal, the amount of time it takes for testicles to produce new sperm.

You will be under anesthesia during the vasectomy reversal, so you likely will not feel any sort of pain. However, it is normal to experience mild discomfort following the procedure.

We’re here to help.

For appointments at any TUCC location, request an appointment online.