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Spire Gatwick Park Hospital, Povey Cross Road, Horley, Surrey, RH6 0BB

The Vasectomy Reversal Operation

To watch an edited film of Mr Swinn carrying out a vasectomy reversal at The Vasectomy Reversal Clinic, please click on the "Vasectomy Reversal Video" tab on the left of this page.

All operations are carried out by Mr Michael Swinn Consultant Urological Surgeon, under general anaesthetic using a high powered microscope. The average operation time is about 2  hours.

Mr Michael Swinn performing a Vasectomy Reversal
Mr Swinn performing a vasectomy reversal at The Vasectomy Reversal Clinic using a Zeiss high power operating microscope to achieve a microsurgical anastomosis

A vasectomy involves cutting the tubes which carry sperms away from the testicle (each is called a vas). Around 4% of men undergoing a vasectomy subsequently require it to be reversed. In essence, the reversal operation involves finding the site of the previous vasectomy on both sides, removing any scar tissue and delicately joining the two ends together.

Vasectomy Reversal Diagram

A single incision is made in the middle part of the scrotum and this enables both vasa to be dissected out and means that a vasoepididymostomy can be carried out if required (see below). Any scar tissue from the previous vasectomy is excised. Both ends of the vas tubes are probed to ensure patency and to dilate them gently. The cut ends are brought together and held in a specially designed clamp to enable them to be joined together with a very fine suture material hardly visible with the naked eye (8/0 or 10/0 prolene). A second layer of sutures is then put in to strengthen the join. A high powered operating microscope is used throughout to enhance vision. The skin is closed with a dissolvable suture.

Vasectomy Reversal Operation Diagram

Joining the two cut ends of the vas together is called a vasovasostomy. This operation takes about 2 hours and all are carried out under general anaesthetic. Operations are carried out in the morning and patients generally stay overnight and are discharged the following day.

A more complicated procedure (a vasoepididymostomy) may be required if the vas coming away from the testicle is too scarred to carry sperm through it or if the vasectomy was carried out very low down, ie close to the testicle. A vasoepididymostomy involves joining the vas tubes directly to the epididymis (the sperm stores near the surface of each testicle). Mr Swinn carries out vasoepididymostomy if required, though frequently it is only apparent that this is the best option for reconstruction at the time of surgery.

Contact us for further information about microsurgical vasectomy reversal operations or, indeed, with any other questions you may have.

  • View The Vasectomy Reversal Clinic videos on YouTube