Vasectomy and Vasectomy Reversal: What You Should Know
Vasectomies are minor procedures that can usually be performed right in our office. For patients with pre-existing medical conditions or prior difficulty with local anethesia, you may wish to undergo intravenous (IV) sedation either in our office or at an ambulatory care center. Vasectomies generally require minimal recovery time - often less than a week.
Some men worry that they will not be able to perform sexually or experience an orgasm after having a vasectomy. Performed correctly, vasectomies do not cause impotence, loss of sex drive, or problems with ejaculation and orgasm. In fact, neither you nor your partner should be able to detect any difference in the way sex feels. As with any surgical procedure, however, there are a few associated risks such as bleeding, infection, longer recovery than expected and conception of a child. This is because the cut ends of the vas may grow together over time; this happens roughly as often as getting hit by lightning. We know people get hit by lightning, but it doesn't stop you from walking outside during a rain storm. A small percentage of men may experience post vasectomy pain syndrome well after the healing period. The effectiveness of a vasectomy will also need to be tested by measuring the presence of sperm in a semen sample after vasectomy. Dr. Hong will discuss possible risks with you during a consultation.
Vasectomy reversals are performed to restore fertility potential in those who have already undergone vasectomy. Life constantly changes, and even though you were certain of no more children in the past, you may be thinking or trying to conceive a child now. If this is the case, vasectomy reversal is a relatively minimally invasive start to your road to conception. We also occasionally perform vasectomy reversals for post-vasectomy pain syndrome.
Vasectomy: A Closer Look
There are two main types of vasectomy. During a conventional vasectomy, Dr. Hong will make a small incision in the skin of the scrotum after delivery of numbing medicine. Next, he will remove a small section of the vas deferens, which carries sperm from the testicles, on both sides. A small stitch is left in your scrotum afterwards that dissolves on its own.
The second type of vasectomy involves no needles and no scalpels. A pressurized jet of numbing medicine will be used to anesthetize the skin and vas, allowing Dr. Hong to remove and close a section of the vas deferens on both sides. A small stitch is left in your scrotum afterwards that dissolves on its own.
The entire procedure takes less than 15 minutes. Afterwards, you will be sent home with post-operative care instructions. This usually involves icing down the scrotum, compressing the scrotum to prevent swelling, and limiting heavy activity (such as yardwork or playing with your children) for several days. Most men return to work quickly after vasectomy.
How is a Vasectomy Reversed?
During vasectomy reversal, Dr. Hong will use one of several microsurgical approaches to reconnect the delicate vas deferens to itself or to the epididymis, the area where sperm matures near the testicles. Vasectomy reversals are usually carried out in an ambulatory surgical center or hospital setting and is a much more technical procedure than vasectomy. Vasectomy reversal is highly effective at re-establishing the flow of fluid from the testes, although achieving a pregnancy depends on many factors such as the length of time elapsed since vasectomy and sperm quality.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are considering having a vasectomy, you can weigh other non-surgical options that are available to you during a consultation with Dr. Hong. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.