Vasectomy Reversal – what to expect before, during and after
You will meet with Dr. Shridharani to discuss your medical history, how long ago your vasectomy was performed and how you did after the procedure. He will conduct a physical examination and may order some blood tests. The goal here is to determine whether you are a good candidate for a reversal.
Dr. Shridharani encourages couple participation in decision-making so that he can counsel both of you on the most effective treatment options, and determine what is most acceptable to both of you. Thus, your female partner should accompany you to the consultation. Dr. Shridharani will want to know her medical and surgical history, age and pregnancy history. He may recommend that she receive certain blood tests and refer her to a female reproductive specialist. The goal of gathering this information is to assist you and your partner in considering all your options for building your family and help you make informed decisions.
Dr. Shridharani will discuss with you all options available to achieve pregnancy, including the microsurgical vasectomy reversal procedure, its risks and benefits, success rates and what to expect. He may also suggest sperm retrieval and sperm banking during the reversal, to preserve your fertility options, particularly for use in IVF to help you achieve pregnancy.
If you decide to pursue reversal, it is important to follow his instructions for what to do before the procedure. Generally this will include instructions on what and when to eat based on the anesthesia anticipated. You will be advised to discontinue testosterone therapy for a period of time (because it interferes with your sperm count), discontinue use of any medications that can interfere with blood clotting, and since you receive a general anesthetic, you will need someone to drive you home after the procedure. You will also be advised to pick up the prescription pain medications and antibiotics before your procedure and bring them with you.
Post- op Instructions
After the procedure, Dr. Shridharani typically recommends taking it easy for 2-3 days. Ice packs, scrotal support and anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen are recommended. Return to work depends upon the type of labor required. Men who have minimal labor or work at a desk can usually return to work in 3-4 days. If physical labor or heavy lifting is required, work restrictions are prescribed for the first couple of weeks. However, heavy lifting should not be performed for at least a month after the reversal. Expect some soreness and swelling. Ice packs can minimize swelling when applied for the first 24-48 hours. He will tell you when to resume a normal diet and your regular medications. Finally, depending on the actual procedure you receive, he may suggest refraining from intercourse for several weeks. And of course, you can always contact his office with questions.
Lastly, you can expect to receive a semen analysis every 2-3 months after the vasectomy reversal to assess your sperm count and motility. An indication of a successful reversal is when your sperm appears in the ejaculate or pregnancy results. The average time from reversal to conception is usually less than 1 year.
Choosing the right surgeon for you
There are many reasons you may want to undo a vasectomy. You have good options. The key to success is choosing the right doctor. Look for significant specialized training including fellowship training in male reproductive health and microsurgery. Ask about your surgeon’s success rates. Make sure all the options to achieve pregnancy after vasectomy are reviewed with you. And find a surgeon with compassion and devotion to his patients. Dr. Shridharani meets all of these requirements.