Success rate for vasectomy reversal is generally reported in two ways: sperm recovery rate (patency success rate) and pregnancy rate. Although the statistical averages derived from large numbers of patients offer a general guide, your specific situation and results may differ from that of the average due of many personal variables, such as the surgeon’s vasectomy techniques, your age, you and your partner’s fertility, and a host of other factors.
Vasectomy reversal can be a gamble, with the success rates and fees varying from office to office, so the evaluating couple must determine where they can get the greatest value from their investment. For example, if the candidate’s interval is 4-6 years and one office has a rate of 93% (sperm recovery) for a fee of $3000, and another office offers a competitive rate of 97% for $10,000, then only the couple can decide whether the increment in higher success is worth the difference in cost.
The single most important factor in whether a vasectomy reversal procedure will be successful is the interval in time (years) between vasectomy and vasectomy reversal. Theoretically, the sperm recovery rate drops two percent every year after vasectomy. This is because the likelihood of obstruction in the epididymis increases—especially after 7-10 years. Many men, however, do not develop any obstructions after 15, even 20 years, and may therefore expect a better sperm recovery success rate with a vas-to-vas procedure.
Based on all of the cases with the reported semen analysis results, the sperm recovery rate (Patency Success Rate) in our clinic is 93.3% for all cases within nine years of vasectomy. We have yet to obtain a large enough number of procedures from 11 years to 25 years of vasectomy to do a meaningful statistical analysis, but the general pattern of successful operations seen in our patients follows Dr. Doug Stein’s published data (Dr. Shu having adopted the same techniques from Dr. Stein).