Microsurgery involves the use of an operating room microscope or surgical loupes (magnifying glasses) to conduct very small scale operations on the body. Microsurgical reconstruction of tissue is often a complex and very technical procedure. In the early 1900s, Carrel and Guthrie pioneered microsurgery techniques through experimental procedures on animals, replanting and transplanting tissues and organs such as amputated limbs, and kidneys. The first use of optical magnification was recorded in 1921, where a monocular microscope was used for ear surgery by Nylen. It was during this time period microsurgical instruments, operating microscopes, and other advancements in medical technologies paved the way for microsurgery.
Advancements in vasectomy reversal closely mirror those in other procedures in well. The first successful vasovasostomy was in 1919, although its efficacy was questionably. By 1948, 18% of urologists had tried it, and the success rate was only 40%. The first microsurgical vasectomy reversal took place in 1971, by Owen. The next big advancements came in 1977, with the development of 2-layer and modified microsurgical suture techniques. The patency rate has rose to more than 90% with these advancements if vasectomies are done with nine years. Microsurgery continues to see advancements every year. Robots with hands far steadier than any human now have the capacity to perform operations as small as vasectomy reversal.
Ultimately, microsurgery is a powerful contemporary surgical technique with many different applications, not least of which is vasectomy reversal. It is because of microsurgery and its advancements that effective vasectomy reversals are possible, now with minimal pain or downtime at Procedure Clinic. It will be fascinating to see what this procedure could look like many years into the future!