Frequently Asked Questions
What is reversal of vasectomy?
Around 4% of men undergoing vasectomy subsequently require for it to be reversed. The reversal operation involves finding the site of the previous vasectomy on both sides, removing any scar tissue and carefully joining the two ends together.
What techniques are there?
There are essentially two ways of doing this:
1) with the naked eye (or glasses)
2) using an operating microscope to achieve a microsurgical anastomosis (join)
Which technique is best?
It seems clear that the enhanced vision achieved under a microscope allows for a more accurate join: The European Association of Urology recommends a microsurgical anastomosis. Additionally, the technical skill (and patience) of the operating surgeon is very important and therefore patients must ensure their surgeon has a specific interest in reversal of vasectomy. The surgeon must have undergone appropriate training in microsurgery and it is important for them to be doing large numbers of reversal operations to keep up microsurgical skills.
What are the success rates?
Success depends not just on surgical factors as described above, but other issues also play a role. The key ones are:
a) the length of time since the vasectomy
b) the technique that was used to perform the original vasectomy
c) the presence of antisperm antibodies
A surgical success is defined as the presence of viable spermatozoa in the ejaculate postoperatively. At The Vasectomy Reversal Clinic, the success rate for those whose vasectomy was carried out in the previous 4 years is greater than 90%.
How long does the operation take?
In Mr Swinn's series the average operation time is between 2 and 2.5 hours.
How long will I be in hospital?
Patients normally stay overnight and go home the following morning. However, the procdure can be done as a day-case if you prefer and live local to the hospital.
Do I need a referral or even an appointment first?
No. Referral letters from GPs are not required to book in for a vasectomy reversal procedure. An appointment before surgery is often beneficial so that a full discussion of the procedure together with alternative treatments is discussed. It also allows for physical examination which can be helpful.
If an out-patient consultation is not possible (due to living abroad or a long distance from the hospital) then a telephone consultation (no charge) can be arranged.
To aarrange a telephone consultation or book an out-patient appointment please call Mr Swinn secretary, Lesley, on (01737) 225442.
How much does it cost?
The initial consultation is £150.
The price of the microsurgical vasectomy reversal is £2970.
- the surgeon's fee
- the anaesthetist's fee
- use of the operating theatre and microscope
- all hospital fees including overnight stay
- semen analysis 3 months post vasectomy reversal
- follow up consultation
If sperm retrieval and cryopreservation (freezing) are requested there is an additional cost of £1250.
How do I make an appointment?
- Appointments for The Vasectomy Reversal Clinic can be made by telephoning Gatwick Park Hospital on (01293) 778919 or by calling his secretary, Lesley, on (01737) 225442.
- Alternatively, you are welcome to make informal inquiries by telephoning Mr Swinn's private secretary, Lesley, on (01737) 225442.
- Or if there is anything you want to ask Mr Swinn, you can e-mail him directly on firstname.lastname@example.org
When should I have my semen analysed?
You should arrange for your semen to be analysed approximately 3 months after the procedure. On discharge from the ward, patients are given an instruction sheet for semen analysis.
To arrange a semen analysis please call (01293)778906 for an appointment to produce your specimen at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital.
- Do not ejaculate for a minimum of 2 days but not longer than 7 days before producing a semen specimen.
- Do not collect the specimen in a sheath (as some materials of sheaths can destroy sperm).
The results are usually ready after 2-3 days and results are discussed in clinic with Mr Swinn. However, if it is not practical to come along for a face-to-face consultation them a telephone consultation can be arranged.
If it is not practical for you to produce a semen specimen at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital then you should make an appointment to see your GP who can arrange for you to have the test done locally.
What happens if my partner does not conceive despite
having a succesul reversal?
Hopefully you and your partner will become pregnant soon after a successful reversal but sometimes this does not happen. This may be due to female fertility issues and therefore you may need to consult your General Practitioner for advice and possible investigation. Another possible reason for difficulty with conceiving is the development of sperm antibodies. These can be formed at the time of the original vasectomy or at the the of the vasectomy reversal.
Sometimes, despite a successful vasectomy reversal, the sperm count is low and conception doesn't occur. Assisted productive techniques such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) can be very helpful if this is the case. This technique involves despositing the sperm directly into the uterus.
Mr Swinn recommends that everyone should consider sperm storage following a positive result. it is very simple and relatively inexpensive to do and it ensures against the chance of your sperm count dropping as time goes by.