Vasectomy Reversal Treatment
The vasectomy reversal treatment is a highly viable option for men who have previously undergone a vasectomy and want to reduce post-congestion pain and/or have a child.
The Owen 3 Layer Micro-Surgical Vasectomy Reversal (the highly precise technique used at Metrocentre) is one of the few options available for men who have previously undergone a vasectomy and are now seeking to have children – IVF is generally the only other option available.
Vasectomy reversal babies
Photos supplied by proud parents after vasectomy reversal.
Our caring and highly experienced team will strive to keep you as comfortable and relaxed as possible throughout your visit
The two ends of the vas deferens are then joined under an operating microscope that has an extremely high magnification and a Xenon light source
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of anaesthetic is used?
During this procedure we use heavy twilight sedation to take advantage of the benefits of general anaesthic without the associated risks…
This means that our patients can experience a rapid recovery and discharge from our facility, and avoid the risk of vomiting. Twilight sedation is especially advantageous for our fly in/fly out patients as they can return to their accommodation with their partners after this procedure. It is important to inform us of your medical history and any drug allergies you have experienced before undertaking this procedure.
How does a vasectomy reversal work?
A man can still ejaculate after a vasectomy procedure; however this semen will not contain any sperm…
Semen is produced by glands located in the pelvis called the seminal vesicles and the prostate, and this is added to the sperm to create normal ejaculate. This seminal fluid makes up about 95% of the ejaculate and so men who have undergone a vasectomy may not notice any difference in the volume of ejaculate.
The testicles will continue to produce sperm after a vasectomy, so if both vas deferens have been tied off, the stream of sperm is simply blocked in the vas tube.
The Owen 3 Layer Micro-Surgical Vasectomy Reversal is a highly viable option for men who would like to reverse the contraceptive effects of their previous surgery
This procedure re-connects the vas tube to allow the sperm to mix with the semen once more to create fertile seminal fluid. There are few viable alternatives to this procedure apart from IVF.
When selecting a clinic to perform this procedure it is highly important that you examine the success rates (not simply the pregnancies) that each clinic experiences.
We perform high volume Owen 3 Layer Micro-Surgical Vasectomy Reversals – up to 28 cases (56 sides) in a month, making us one of the largest clinics in Australia.
Can you help someone who has had a failed vasectomy reversal elsewhere?
Metrocentre’s Dr Chris Lekich is one of the most experienced microsurgeons in the world and has been able to perform many successful re-do vasectomy reversals! See our Re-Do Vasectomy Reversal page for more information.
Why and how do you use ultrasound technology for vasectomy reversal?
Dr Lekich’s personalised use of ultrasound for assessment and planning of the scrotum
Ultrasound allows visualisation of the structures in detail, and from this he is then able to map and plan the surgery, reducing my need for “exploration” during the procedure. His high resolution scanning of over 2000 sides since 2008 has enabled me to see diverse pathology and details of the micro-tubules deep within the body of the testicle, epididymis and scrotum, NOT visible with the naked eye or with the microscope. This is particularly useful for past IVF extractions and past failed vasectomy reversal attempts. The ultrasound has allowed Dr Lekich to advise patients regarding the likelihood of surgical success – particularly patients who have had previous scrotal procedures and previous failed vasectomy reversals.
For example: one patient had his vasectomy 23 years ago, had two failed reversal attempts elsewhere and then had three sperm extractions through IVF. Several clinics had told him that reversal was now impossible. After careful ultrasound assessment and planning, we successfully reversed this patient – achieving a 35 million sperm per ml count nine months after our procedure, with a wound that was one (1) cm in length on both sides. His wife is currently pregnant with their baby.
For this reason we invite patients who have been told nothing can be done to reverse their vasectomy or have had failed vasectomy reversal/s to consider a second opinion
The use of the ultrasound in has facilitated the delivery of safe and minimally invasive Owen Three Layer Micro-surgical Vasectomy Reversals, difficult vasectomies and the management of post vasectomy congestion syndrome. Coupled with Dr Lekich’s micro-surgical training, the ultrasound has helped our team assess and plan what often becomes relatively straightforward surgery once there is a clear map. This is particularly important in the following challenging cases;
- Failed vasectomy reversal/s
- Multiple IVF sperm aspirations
- Past scrotal trauma
- Past scrotal surgery (torsion, undescended testis, varicocele and hydrocoele)
- Where patients have been told that a vasectomy reversal is not possible due to the original vasectomy
- A combination of all of the above
There has been open criticism with regards to the use of ultrasound by competing surgeons, with suggestions that this is a waste of time. At Metrocentre we respect these opinions as all surgeons try their best – open exploration has been common place during vasectomy reversal procedures for many years. With the benefit of ultrasound, Dr Lekich has almost completely eliminated the need to explore the scrotum during the procedure, which preserves the precious vas deferens. This subsequently reduces the risk of bleeding. To date we have never had a patient experience a scrotal haematoma after surgery. We do not routinely use drains which are often used in other practices.
What can I expect at my initial consultation?
Dr Lekich will use highly powerful ultrasound imaging during your pre-procedure consultation
Some of the primary factors that can influence the success of a vasectomy reversal include:
- The years between the original vasectomy procedure and the reversal
- The original vasectomy technique employed
- Where the ends of the vas deferens currently lie
By making use of the highest resolution ultrasound available, Dr Lekich can plan and predict the most beneficial Owen 3 Layer Micro-Surgical Vasectomy Reversal procedure and efficiently establish the position of the vasectomy and the vas deferens ends. The images are viewed in real time and are discussed with each patient and his partner.
Ultrasound is a painless examination that takes approximately 15-20 minutes and is done on site as part of the consultation process. The ultrasound is not an X-ray, does not use radiation and is particularly safe.
What does recovery entail after the procedure?
Most patients experience virtually zero post-operative pain associated with this procedure
If you do experience some mild discomfort in the first few days after this procedure, paracetamol can be used to offer relief. A comprehensive summary of the postoperative instructions will be provided well before your procedure.
There are several steps that are used to assist the anastomosis (joining) of the vas tubes
At Metrocentre we recommend the following for the first four weeks after surgery:
- Avoid sexual intercourse
- Avoid participating in any type of “jiggly” activity such as running, jumping, swimming, surfing and horse riding (walking is fine)
- Work may be resumed reasonably soon after the procedure. That said, some occupations involving heavy activity may require a longer period of time off
- Patients are required to attend a postoperative review and so if you are travelling from interstate it is important to discuss your travel plans with our team when booking your procedure
With good care you should experience a swift and successful recovery from your Owen 3 Layer Micro-Surgical Vasectomy Reversal procedure.
What are sperm antibodies and can they affect fertility?
Contrary to popular belief, sperm antibodies do not make male patients infertile…
Every man who has had a vasectomy is virtually guaranteed to have sperm antibodies develop as a natural response to the presence of a new protein within the body.
When the sperm protein is detected in the body after a vasectomy procedure, this triggers the immune system to produce antibodies (or white blood cells) which attack the sperm cells present outside of the reproductive tract.
This process is not a cause for concern for men who have developed sperm antibodies in response to a vasectomy procedure as these antibodies only attack sperm cells in the blood stream. With more than 18,000 immature sperm cells developed every minute by mature males, these lost sperm cells are easily replaced. Contrary to myths, these sperm antibodies do not cause any health related problems or prevent a vasectomy reversal from working.
Sperm Antibodies – How are they Significant?
It has long been shown that sperm antibodies are not significant after a vasectomy reversal. This has been disproved over 40 years in the practices of the pioneers of microsurgical vasectomy reversals Professor Earl Owen (Australia) and Dr Sherman Siber (USA). This has been confirmed scientifically and has also been noted not to be significant in the practice of Dr Lekich. This issue is made interesting by numerous patients in Dr Lekich’s practice testing up to almost 100% positive for sperm antibodies by IVF labs yet they still fathered children naturally after their reversals with us.
Some of our patients who have had a reversal with us (and then had a baby) have chosen to have a sperm antibody test for their own information. Two of these patients, both having had multiple rounds of IVF without success before they had the reversal (and subsequent baby) with us, were happy to share their results with us. These two results came back with 100% agglutination and comments by the pathology company that this indicated that they were infertile and that IVF was the only option to achieve a pregnancy. Yet, they had both just fathered children after our reversal.
It is generally stated in IVF circles that sperm antibodies will render a vasectomy reversal a failure. This very controversial issue of sperm antibodies has been long criticised by Professor Owen and is explored in further detail by Dr Sherman Silber both a pioneer in IVF and Vasectomy Reversal in USA at (www.infertile.com). A failure of vasectomy reversal would rarely be from sperm antibodies.
Some women may develop sperm antibodies which can result in permanent infertility, but this unfortunate and rare condition is not connected with a vasectomy procedure whatsoever.
What are the success rates of vasectomy reversal the Metrocentre Way?
Metrocentre is one of the very few clinics worldwide to use the advanced Owen Three-Layer Closure technique
Dr Lekich uses the advanced Owen Three-Layer Close technique, pioneered and perfected by Professor Owen since 1971, in his specially designed facility located on the Gold Coast. This technique has been used in over 6000 procedures, and draws on over 40 years of microsurgical research and experience. Our procedure has been optimised to reach the very highest success rates.
Our highly experienced team has successfully reversed vasectomies performed anywhere from a single to 34 years ago
The success rate of the Owen Three-Layer closure technique has enabled the following success rates:
Years since vasectomy:
Several factors can influence the success of this reversal procedure, and these include:
- The time between the original vasectomy and the reversal procedure
- The technique employed for the original vasectomy
- The precision, experience, skill and equipment your chosen team employs
At Metrocentre, we currently perform around 25 Owen 3 Layer Micro-Surgical Vasectomy Reversal each month, making us one of the largest and most experienced clinics in Australia.