A vasectomy (vah-SEK-tuh-mee) is a sterilization procedure that severs
the vas deferens (vahs DEF-er-enz), which is the tube that transports
sperm from the testicles. In most cases, it's possible to reverse this
operation, and reconnect a path through which sperm can travel.
Microsurgical techniques have greatly improved the success rate of
reversals. When a vasectomy is reversed within the first two years or so,
about 75 percent of couples are able to conceive. However, this
percentage drops off rapidly, the longer you wait between the
operations. There are two major types of vasectomy reversal. The
most common involves re-joining the ends of the vas deferens.
Another method is to attach the vas deferens directly to the epididymis,
the structure in the testicles which acts as a sperm reservoir. This
procedure is more complex, and associated with lower rates of
pregnancy. It's performed only when inflammation or scarring has
blocked the epididymis, preventing sperm from leaving. Another factor
that may influence your outcome is the location of your previous
vasectomy. Operations that were performed farther away from the
testicle are generally easier to reverse, because they tend to leave a
longer piece of the vas deferens tube intact. For more information on
vasectomy reversal, consult a surgical specialist.