Understanding the Impact of Anti-sperm Antibodies in Vasectomy Reversal

Vasectomy is a widely chosen and highly effective form of contraception among men. However, life circumstances can change, prompting some men to reconsider their decision and pursue parenthood after undergoing a vasectomy. In such cases, vasectomy reversal emerges as a viable option to restore fertility. Although vasectomy reversal is generally successful, it’s crucial to be aware of potential factors that can influence the procedure’s outcomes. This blog explores the impact of anti-sperm antibodies in patients who have undergone vasectomy reversal.

Anti-sperm Antibodies: What Are They?
Antibodies are blood proteins produced by the body’s immune system in response to specific antigens, which can include elements like bacteria, viruses, cancer cells, and foreign substances in the bloodstream. These antibodies play a critical role in targeting and neutralizing potential threats to the body. However, in some cases, antibodies can act against the body’s own cells, as observed in various autoimmune diseases.

Anti-sperm antibodies, specifically, are proteins generated by the immune system that target and attack sperm cells. Under normal circumstances, the immune system recognizes sperm as part of the body, and thus, does not initiate an immune response against them. However, when sperm comes into contact with the bloodstream, as can happen following a vasectomy, the immune system may treat it as an invasive foreign entity, leading to the development of anti-sperm antibodies.
It’s important to note that, in usual circumstances, sperm remains largely segregated from the bloodstream due to the presence of the blood-testis barrier. This barrier prevents direct contact between sperm and blood, maintaining sperm’s status as non-threatening to the immune system. However, disruptions to this barrier, such as through trauma, surgery, infection, cancer, or congenital defects, can expose sperm to the bloodstream, potentially triggering immune responses and the development of anti-sperm antibodies.

Effects of Anti-sperm Antibodies in Vasectomy Reversal Patients
Studies have revealed that anti-sperm antibodies are present in varying percentages of men in different populations: approximately 8% to 21% of men in the general population, 9% to 36% of infertile patients, and 70-100% of men following a vasectomy. It’s important to clarify that undergoing a vasectomy does not typically lead to the development of autoantibodies in men, except in the case of anti-sperm antibodies. There is also no substantial evidence linking the development of anti-sperm antibodies after vasectomy to immunological or other diseases.

The Relationship of Anti-sperm Antibodies with Vasectomy Reversal Procedures
The impact of anti-sperm antibodies on fertility following vasectomy reversal is not entirely clear. While it is true that 79% of men tested after a vasectomy exhibit elevated anti-sperm antibodies, these levels are not typically significant enough to cause a substantial decrease in fertility. In most men, these antibodies do not result in significant, long-term side effects arising from vasectomy.

The guidelines set forth by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology emphasize that overall postoperative conception rates after vasectomy reversal are relatively high, ranging from 50% to 70%. Moreover, the presence of anti-sperm antibodies does not consistently correlate with postoperative fecundability, making the value of preoperative anti-sperm antibody testing a matter of controversy.

Here’s a summary of the research evidence on this subject:

  • Even though nearly all men exhibit detectable antibodies following a vasectomy, around two-thirds of vasectomy reversals result in successful pregnancies.
  • The presence and levels of antibodies following vasectomy reversal inconsistently predict the success of achieving a pregnancy in couples.
  • Much of the existing research focuses on infertile men, leaving a gap in data regarding fertile men.
  • The testing for sperm antibodies lacks standardization, given the presence of various antibody types and their different locations in sperm. The influence of each antibody type remains unclear.
  • In conclusion, while the development of anti-sperm antibodies is a potential consideration in vasectomy reversal, the evidence suggests that it does not consistently lead to fertility problems or significantly impact the success of achieving pregnancy. The decision to undergo vasectomy reversal should be made based on individual circumstances and in consultation with a healthcare professional.
  • Note: One Stop Medical Center provides the service of Vasectomy Reversal. We have two office locations in Edina, Minnesota, and Casselberry, Florida. If you are interested in vasectomy Reversal, Please fill out the online registration first, we will call you in 2 business days, or please call us at 1-888-992-0019 if any questions.

    The Miracle of Vasovasostomy: Restoring Fertility with Surgical Precision


    In the realm of reproductive medicine, vasovasostomy stands as a remarkable surgical procedure that offers renewed hope to couples who have experienced male infertility due to a previous vasectomy. This microsurgical technique, designed to restore the flow of sperm by reconnecting the vas deferens, has gained attention for its effectiveness in restoring fertility. In this blog, we delve into the intricacies of vasovasostomy, exploring its procedure, success rates, factors influencing outcomes, and its role in modern fertility treatments.

    Understanding Vasovasostomy

    A vasectomy is a common form of birth control for men, involving the surgical cutting or blocking of the vas deferens—the tubes that transport sperm from the testes to the ejaculatory duct. However, life circumstances can change, prompting some men to desire the reversal of their vasectomy to regain the potential for fatherhood. Vasovasostomy, a microsurgical procedure, offers them this chance by delicately reconnecting the vas deferens.

    The Procedure

    Vasovasostomy is a meticulous procedure that requires the expertise of a skilled microsurgeon. It is often performed under local anesthesia or general anesthesia. The surgeon accesses the vas deferens by making small incisions in the scrotum. Microscopic tools are then used to reconnect the two cut ends of the vas deferens, ensuring precise alignment and suturing. If sperm flow is successfully restored, the chances of natural conception increase.

    Success Rates and Factors Influencing Outcomes

    The success of vasovasostomy largely depends on several factors:

  • Time Since Vasectomy: Success rates tend to be higher when the vasectomy was performed more recently. Long intervals between vasectomy and reversal can lead to higher chances of blockage, reducing the likelihood of successful sperm flow.
  • Type of Vasectomy: The type of vasectomy initially performed can influence the complexity of the vasovasostomy. Vasectomies that involved removal of a segment of the vas deferens (rather than just sever) or aggressive cauterization in both ends can lead to more challenging procedures.
  • Surgeon’s Skill: The skill and experience of the microsurgeon performing the procedure play a pivotal role. A highly skilled surgeon is more likely to achieve optimal results.
  • Presence of Antibodies: Some men may develop antibodies against their own sperm after a vasectomy, which can complicate the success of the procedure. .
  • Overall Health and Lifestyle: A man’s overall health, lifestyle choices, and age can impact the success of vasovasostomy. Healthy individuals generally experience better outcomes.
  • Conclusion

    Vasovasostomy, with its microsurgical precision and potential to restore male fertility, remains a beacon of hope for couples seeking to expand their families after a vasectomy. As surgical techniques continue to advance and success rates improve, this procedure stands as a testament to medical ingenuity and the remarkable ways in which science can restore life-changing possibilities. While the journey to parenthood might encounter obstacles, vasovasostomy is a reminder that with the right expertise and determination, barriers can be overcome, and dreams can be fulfilled.

    Note: One Stop Medical Center provides the service of Vasectomy Reversal. We have two office locations in Edina, Minnesota, and Casselberry, Florida. If you are interested in vasectomy Reversal, Please fill out the online registration first, we will call you in 2 business days, or please call us at 1-888-992-0019 if any questions.

    Regaining Fertility: A Comprehensive Guide to Vasectomy Reversal | MN | FL


    Parenthood is a profound and transformative experience that many couples dream of. However, life’s circumstances and choices can lead some men to opt for a vasectomy, a surgical procedure designed to provide permanent contraception. While vasectomy is a highly effective and reliable method, it is not always set in stone. Thanks to modern medical advancements, men who have undergone vasectomies and now desire to become fathers once again have a promising solution – vasectomy reversal.

    In this comprehensive blog, we will explore the ins and outs of vasectomy reversal, shedding light on the procedure, its benefits, considerations, success rates, and what to expect during the recovery process. If you or your partner have been contemplating this life-changing decision, read on to gain a better understanding of vasectomy reversal and the hope it can bring to couples wishing to expand their families.

    Understanding Vasectomy Reversal

    Vasectomy reversal, as the name suggests, is a surgical procedure that restores a man’s fertility after he has undergone a vasectomy. During a vasectomy, the vas deferens, the tube that carries sperm from the testicles to the urethra, is cut or blocked to prevent sperm from mixing with semen during ejaculation. In a vasectomy reversal, the disconnected ends of the vas deferens are reconnected, allowing sperm to flow freely again.

    The Procedure

    The reversal procedure could be done in the office with local anesthesia or surgical center and hospital under general anesthesia. There are two primary methods for performing the reversal:

    Vasovasostomy: This is the most common technique, where the cut ends of the vas deferens are carefully reattached using microsurgical techniques. It allows sperm to travel from the testicles to the ejaculatory ducts.

    Vasoepididymostomy: In cases where a vasovasostomy is not feasible due to a blockage in the epididymis (the structure on the testicle where sperm matures), this method is employed. The vas deferens is attached directly to the epididymis to bypass the blockage and allow sperm to be ejaculated.

    Success Rates and Factors Affecting Reversal Outcomes

    The success of vasectomy reversal depends on various factors, including the length of time since the original vasectomy, the technique used, the surgeon’s skill, and the overall health of the patient. Generally, the success rates for vasectomy reversal are encouraging. For vasovasostomy, the success rate ranges from 70% to 90% , while for vasoepididymostomy, it can vary from 30% to 70%. Factors such as age, partner’s fertility, and the presence of anti-sperm antibodies can also influence the outcome.

    Considerations and Alternatives

    Before deciding on vasectomy reversal, it’s crucial to consider other options available. Couples may explore in vitro fertilization (IVF) or sperm donation, and adoption as alternatives. However, vasectomy reversal often proves to be a more cost-effective and natural approach, especially for couples seeking multiple pregnancies.

    Recovery and Post-Procedure Care

    After the procedure, patients will need to follow their surgeon’s post-operative care instructions carefully. Rest, pain management, and avoiding strenuous activities are typical recommendations during the healing process. Most men can resume sexual activity after a few weeks, and fertility tests will be conducted in the months following the surgery to assess sperm presence and motility.


    Vasectomy reversal offers hope to couples who have had a change of heart about their family planning journey. This procedure has the potential to restore fertility and bring the joy of parenthood back into the lives of those who seek it. However, the decision to undergo vasectomy reversal should be well-informed and discussed with a qualified healthcare professional. Every individual’s situation is unique, and understanding the procedure, its success rates, and potential alternatives can empower couples to make the best choice for their future.

    In subsequent articles, we will delve deeper into the various aspects of vasectomy reversal, providing more in-depth information to help you make an informed decision on this transformative journey to parenthood. Stay tuned!

    Note: One Stop Medical Center provides the service of Vasectomy Reversal. We have two office locations in Edina, Minnesota, and Casselberry, Florida. If you are interested in vasectomy Reversal, Please fill out the online registration first, we will call you in 2 business days, or please call us at 1-888-992-0019 if any questions.

    $2950 All Inclusive Affordable Vasectomy Reversal Service | MN | FL

    Summary: The expense of vasectomy reversals is an important factor that discourages couples wanting to have another child. One Stop Medical Center has been offering $2950 all inclusive for an affordable vasectomy reversal service, helping couples conceive children naturally.

    MINNEAPOLIS, MN (March 12th, 2022) – There are approximately half a million men who undergo a vasectomy every year in the U.S. About 7% of them would want a vasectomy reversal. Whereas the cost of vasectomies is usually less than $1000 and are covered by most insurance companies, reversals are not, so couples have to pay for the expensive procedure with cash. If the reversal is performed in a hospital or surgical center, this, in turn, accelerates the cost, further discouraging couples wanting to have another child.

    One Stop Medical Center has been offering an Affordable Vasectomy Reversal Service in the past nine years. It continues to Offer $2950 all inclusive for a vasovasostomy procedure.

    The aim of vasovasostomy is to reconnect the vas where it was severed at the time of vasectomy, making it a true reverse vasectomy, which makes the most sense for men whose intervals are short (less than 10 years vasectomy) . Vasovasostomy (VV) takes about two hours. It is performed under local anesthesia, similar to the anesthesia used for vasectomy but with a longer-acting drug. Continuity of both vas tubes can be restored with micro-surgical techniques through a single small incision with the assistance of magnification.

    We are able to lower your costs by not charging any facility fees and anesthesia fees, but never sacrifice our quality of service. The medical director, Dr. Steven Shu, is an expert in office procedures who is dedicated to helping couples conceive children naturally, and he performs almost 200 vasectomy reversal procedures every year.

    Low Cost Vasectomy Reversal in Minnesota and Florida

    Finally, low cost vasectomy reversal is here for men in Minnesota, Florida and the surrounding states. Dr. Shu of One Stop Medical Center (Procedure Clinic) is quickly expanding his practice in vasectomy and vasectomy reversal by offering the office based, low cost procedures.

    Life changes and some people regret having their vasectomy, but can’t afford the reversal procedure. “That’s why we are here, so that anyone who needs a reversal can get one,” says Dr. Shu.

    These fees are much less than what other places will charge. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • Since vasectomy reversal is performed in the procedure room in your clinics, there are no facility fees.
  • Because it is done under local anesthesia, there are no fees for an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist.
  • We want to keep our prices very competitive in these two procedures in the local and nationwide markets, so more people can benefit from it.

    According to published data, someone who receives a reversal within 10 years of having their vasectomy will have greater odds. The best chance for the returning of live sperm is less than three years after the original vasectomy.

    The minimally-invasive procedure performed at One Stop Medical Center is known as Vasovasostomy; it is performed under local anesthesia with the assistance of an operating microscope or magnifying loupe glasses (microsurgery) and typically takes 2-3 hours to complete. Dr. Shu has performed almost 1000 cases of vasovasostomy with a very good success rate.

    We offer the convenient online registration, same day consultation, and efficient one trip system. Moreover, our staff’s customer services and patient care are excellent. Please review all information in the section of vasectomy reversal in the website.

  • No Scalpel and No Needle: Minimal Invasive Techniques in Easy Vasectomy ReversalⓇ | Minnesota

    The patients always wonder how the Easy Vasectomy Reversal is performed without a scalpel and no initial skin injection. This blog explains it.

    Conventional needle anesthesia in vasectomy Reversal involves the use of a 27 gauge needle to raise a wheal at the skin of scrotum; it is then advanced its full length along the vas on each side and the deep tissue where further anesthetic solution is deposited. Dr. Shu uses the modern minimal invasive technique, exposing each vas in turn through a tiny opening in the front scrotal wall under local anesthesia. The initial local anesthesia is applied without the use of needles. A spray applicator (MadaJet®) delivers a stream of anesthetic so fine that it penetrates the skin and diffuses to a depth of about 3/16 of an inch, enough to surround and anesthetize each vas tube in turn as it is lifted into position beneath the skin. The initial numbing medication is usually enough for skin incision and vas lifting. Once the vas is identified and lifted, additional anesthetic is given to reach 100% painless effect during the whole procedure.


    No-scalpel vasectomy instruments were originally developed by Dr. Shungiang Li, in China in the mid-70’s and introduced into the United States in 1989. Many years ago, Dr. Steven Shu innovatively improved his surgical techniques on vasectomy reversal procedure (vasovasostomy) by using the same principles and no-scalpel instruments.

    A vasectomy reversal (vasovasostomy) is a microsurgical procedure that reconnects the vas deferens where it was interrupted by a vasectomy. A traditional approach to vasectomy reversal is to make two big incisions in each side of scrotum. Over the past decade, more surgeons adopted a single incision in the middle of the scrotum. In order to further reduce the trauma, the recovery time, the operative time, and the postoperative complications, the mini incision vasectomy reversal approach was proposed. Similar to no-scalpel vasectomy, the initial mini-incision is created using a sharp penetrating forceps that spreads the tissue apart instead of cutting it with a sharp scalpel.


    ring clamp_2

    Dr. Shu uses two important no-scalpel instruments to perform the vasectomy reversal procedure. They are simply a very pointy hemostat, used initially to make a tiny opening into anesthetized skin of the scrotal wall, and a ring clamp, used initially to secure each vas tube in turn beneath this opening.

    The refined techniques of no-scalpel Easy vasectomy reversalⓇ minimize trauma, pain and complications. The introduction of no-scalpel Easy vasectomy reversalⓇ has successfully allayed many men’s fears with regard to the scalpel.

    Shake Off Your Concerns About Vasectomy-Related Birth Defects | Minneapolis & St. Paul

    A question that occasionally comes up regarding vasectomy reversals is whether or not the reversal increases the chance of future birth defects. Considering the lack of studies on this topic, it’s a completely warranted concern for couples who are planning their futures and who might find the potential risk unsettling.

    While there have indeed been studies suggesting that men who previously underwent a vasectomy may experience higher rates of sperm abnormalities, follow-up studies have NOT been conducted to successfully link birth defects to vasectomy reversals. Furthermore, studies have suggested that the rate of birth defects may actually be higher among babies conceived through in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). At the Scott Department of Urology at Baylor College of Medicine, researchers found that the rate of birth defects in conventional IVF was nine percent, while that of ICSI was roughly the same at 8.6 percent.

    In a landmark study from the Vasovasostomy Study Group (VVSG) published in 1991, Dr. Arnold Belker and four other expert microsurgeons examined various facets of vasectomy reversal, including the risk of birth defects. Their trial, which followed 291 children born post-vasectomy reversal, found that only three of the 291 subjects displayed birth defects. That’s a one percent birth defect rate.

    Compare this number to the overall birth defect rate in the entire U.S. population, and you’ll find that it compares quite favorably. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), approximately three percent of children born in the US are born with major birth defects. After accounting for birth-related developmental abnormalities by the age of one, this number rises to about six or seven percent.

    All in all, the risk of post-vasectomy reversal birth defects shouldn’t stop you from planning your future, as the odds don’t vary too much from that of the general population.

    For more information on One Stop Medical Center’s no-scalpel vasectomy reversal procedure, please contact us for a consultation.


    Can Sperm Antibodies Affect Vasectomy Reversal Results? | Minneapolis & St. Paul

    You may be familiar with the term “antibodies” as “something that helps the body ward off disease,” but the notion of sperm antibodies might seem counterintuitive. After all, why would the body want to destroy perfectly good sperm?

    Antibodies, small molecules that the body naturally produces to fight off infections, essentially stick to and kill off invading/unfamiliar cells. Sperm, however, are protected from being targeted by these antibodies via the blood-testis barrier, which physically prevents sperm from interacting with the blood stream. The body normally isn’t even aware of the presence of sperm.

    However, when the blood-testis barrier is compromised due to surgery, trauma to the area, or abnormal development of the testis, sperm may be detected and targeted by antibodies. In the case of a vasectomy, the vas deferen is cut and may leak sperm, potentially allowing the body to “see” and detect sperm for the first time. As a result, the body naturally produces antibodies to fight the sperm, which can affect sperm function and overall motility. Research suggests that at least 70 percent of men have detectable antibodies following a vasectomy, with 50–80 percent of cases occurring in the first year after the procedure. A small percentage of patients who do not develop antibodies in the first year develop them in the second or third year.

    While antibodies can cause problems for some patients, they aren’t usually responsible for post-vasectomy reversal infertility. A recent study published in Urology concluded that patients who experienced poor sperm quality actually had partially blocked vas deferens following a reversal. The patients’ initial post-reversal low motility wasn’t a result of sperm antibodies. After correcting the blockage issue, most patients were able to successfully conceive.

    Furthermore, despite some research suggesting that antibodies may decrease the chance of pregnancy after a reversal, the high overall post-operative conception rate (50-70 percent) and the uncertain correlation between antibody testing and post-operative pregnancy rates make antibody presence a controversial predictor of fertility.


    Recovering After Your Vasectomy Reversal | Minneapolis & St. Paul

    After undergoing a vasectomy reversal, patients can expect a recovery process similar to that of their original vasectomy. Pain and swelling in the groin is to be expected for about 1-3 weeks, but most patients are able to return to work and daily activities within one week. Below is a breakdown of what to expect for post-surgery care and recovery:

    Incision Care After Surgery

  • Thin, clear, pink-colored fluid may drain from the incision site for about 12-24 hours following surgery.
  • Your doctor may ask you to wear an athletic supporter (jockstrap) or supportive underwear for three weeks after the procedure.
  • After surgery, you may take a quick shower in 2 days. Make sure to pat the incision dry. Do NOT take a bath for about 7 days.
  • If a drain is placed in the mid of scrotum, it is expect to have it removed in 24 hours, unless your doctor instructs you not to. Any stitches should dissolve in 7-10 days.
  • An ice pack can help ease discomfort following surgery, but your scrotum is packed with thick dressing after procedure, therefore, it is not convenient to apply ice pack. If you do, place it against your scrotum (ideally wrapped in a thin cloth) for 10-20 minutes at a time, every 4 hours.

    Pain Medications

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol or ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) should suffice in helping control any discomfort in the first few days. Try not to take Ibuprofen in the first 2 days to reduce the chance of bleeding
  • Take all pain medicines exactly as directed by your doctor.
  • If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Continue taking them even if you start feeling better.
  • If you take blood thinners, such as warfarin, clopidogrel, or aspirin, your doctor will let you know when it’s appropriate to restart those medications again.
  • If your pain medicine is making you feel sick and unable to stomach food, take your medicine after meals (unless instructed not to), Or switch to over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol OR ask your doctor for a different pain medicine.

    Returning to Regular Activities

  • Lie down and stay off your feet as much as possible in the first four days. Make sure to rest whenever you feel tired. Do not overexert yourself!
  • After four days, you can start easing back into walking everyday. Increase your walking distance bit by bit each day to regain circulation in your body. Again, rest immediately if you feel tired.

  • Most patients are able to drive and return to work in a week after surgery. However, if your work requires more physical strain on your body, it may take at least two to three weeks before you return.
  • For approximately 3-4 weeks after surgery, avoid strenuous activities like biking, jogging, weight training and high-impact exercises.
  • In the first two weeks, avoid lifting anything heavy that may strain your body. This includes heavy groceries, children, boxes and heavier household items.
  • Ask your doctor when it is appropriate for you to have sex again. Patients are typically advised to refrain from sex for about 3 weeks after surgery.


  • You’re free to return to your normal diet after surgery.
  • If your stomach bothers you for any reason, try eating plain, low-fat foods like rice, broiled chicken, toast and yogurt.
  • Unless otherwise directed, drink plenty of fluids!

    Follow-Up Appointments

    You are not required to have an office visit for follow up less you develop complications. Our staff will call you next day to check how you are doing. About 6 weeks after surgery, you should go to a local lab for semen analysis to see if the operation was successful.


    Clearing Up Vasectomy Reversal Myths | Minneapolis & St. Paul

    You may have contemplated whether or not a vasectomy reversal is the right option for you. But even after weighing the pros and cons, you may still be wondering if you have all the facts—after all, there’s a ton of information out there. It’s crucial to know what’s true and false about vasectomy reversals, so let’s break down some of its most common myths below.

    Myth: Vasectomy reversals are NOT effective for older men.

    It is entirely possible for an older patient to successfully undergo a vasectomy reversal and conceive a child. However, just as women may have more difficulty becoming pregnant as they advance in age, older men can also experience lower quality sperm that affects their overall chance of conceiving.

    Myth: After 10 years, a vasectomy reversal will NOT work.

    While it’s true that higher success rates are associated with vasectomy reversals performed closer to the original vasectomy date (within five years), the average success rates for ALL reversals—including those performed even 15 years after—are still fairly high. Your chances of a successful reversal increase greatly by finding a highly-skilled doctor to perform the procedure.

    Myth: In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is quicker and easier than having a vasectomy reversal.

    Many couples tend to assume that IVF is both easier and more cost-effective, but IVF can be extremely draining and time-consuming. In fact, the cost of IVF is actually more expensive than that of vasovasostomy (the most common type of vasectomy reversal) performed in an office setting. IVF often requires multiple cycles and treatments, potentially becoming much more expensive than initially believed.

    Myth: Vasectomy reversals are 100 percent guaranteed to work and lead to fatherhood.

    Success rates change depending on individual patient circumstances and do not solely rely on whether or not a reversal procedure was performed. Important factors to consider include the time between the original vasectomy and the vasectomy reversal, the type of vasectomy originally performed, and the surgeon who performs the reversal. Furthermore, what should be considered a “success” is evidence of responsive sperm—not simply the intended result of having a child.

    Myth: Couples should not try to conceive right after a vasectomy reversal for fear of a “leftover, defective sperm.”

    New sperm are constantly created and reabsorbed by the body, meaning they don’t stick around and “age” and grow defective. Immediately following a reversal, any “older” remaining sperm from pre-reversal that are still being broken down will quickly lose their motility and have little chance of meeting the egg. There is also no evidence to suggest that an early pregnancy following a vasectomy reversal is linked to higher risk of miscarriage, birth defects or health problems in babies.

    Myth: Some vasectomies are not reversible due to how they were originally performed.

    This is simply false. While there are different ways to perform a vasectomy, it is very rare for one to be irreversible in the hands of a skilled surgeon, regardless of how it was originally performed. However, it’s important to note that if the long segment of a patient’s vas deferens is cut away, or the position of the cut in the vas deferens is either too high or too low, then the reversal procedure and success rate could potentially be affected.


    What Type of Vasectomy is Most Reversible? | Minnesota

    Fundamentally, what a vasectomy does is to prevent the flow of sperm from the testicle to the urethra by cutting and blocking off the ends of the vas deferens, the tube which carries the vasal fluid. There are many ways to block off the vas deferens.

    Suture is very common, where a thread is tied around the end of the vas to prevent the flow of sperm.

    Cauterization is also a common method, using heat to create scar tissue that will block the flow of sperm.

    Another very common method is the use of metal clips, which clip off the ends and are embedded in the scar of the vasectomy site.

    It’s not uncommon to have a small portion of the vas removed as well- up to an inch.

    Dr. Shu uses 3 steps to insure complete occlusion: he cuts the vas deferens and destroys the lining of the tube on upper end with cautery (scarring it) and places small titanium clips in the vas fascia to separate the opened ends of vas deferens.

    No-scalpel vasectomy is performed by making the tiny opening in the middle of scrotum with a pointy hemostat. The vas is then pulled out, severed, and blocked off.

    Another method is open-ended vasectomy, where the vas end closer to the testicle is left open instead of being blocked off in order to reduce the post vasectomy. It also save more vas to make a reversal easier.

    Vas crimping with VasClip or Pro-Vas was not favorable because of the high failure rate. These still require surgery for a vasectomy reversal, so the idea of crimping rather than severing is a moot point.

    Ultimately, none of these ways seem to affect the chances of a reversal being successful. The type of vasectomy, how it was blocked off, how the incision was made, etc, will not actually have an effect on the success rate of the reversal.

    What really makes a difference when it comes to success of the reversal is time (years after vasectomy). Time is the single most important factor. Each year after vasectomy patency gets lower.

    There are two metrics when looking at success rate: sperm patency and pregnancy rate. Sperm patency has to do with the motility of the sperm, that is, how much sperm is present and how much of the sperm in the semen is moving and healthy. The pregnancy rate is typically lower, since not everyone chooses to have a child after a reversal, and sometimes there can be issues on the woman’s end, or there is simply not enough motile sperm.

    Is the Chance of Birth Defects Higher After a Vasectomy Reversal? | Minnesota

    Some patients are concerned over the possibility of birth defects being higher after a vasectomy reversal. The decision to continue having kids after a vasectomy can be a big one and it’s natural to want all your bases covered. So, what does the science say about it?

    A landmark study known as the Vasovasostomy Study Group (VVSG) trial sought to answer to that question. Published in 1991 by Dr. Arnold Belker, he and four other surgeons conducted the trial accross five different centers. Described by Herrel as a landmark surgical study in “Meta-analysis of the Microsurgical Vasovasostomy literature”, this study holds quite a bit of weight.

    The study followed 291 children born after a vasectomy reversal, tracking their development and medical histories to see what effects, if any, vasectomy reversal had. The study found that, out of the 291, 3 had birth defects- or about 1%.

    So how does that compare to the prevalence of birth defects across the nation? Well, according to the Annual Summary of Vital Statistics, published in Pediatrics by Hoyert in 2006, the annual birth defect rate is said to be 3%. Other studies fluctuate between 3% and 5%. The defect rate was actually lower for children born post-vasovasostomy.

    Now, does vasectomy reversal reduces or increases the risk of birth defects?
    Probably not. Based on what we know, vasectomy and vasovasostomy does not affect the genetic quality of the sperm. In actuality, there is almost certainly no difference in the rate of birth defects regardless if you had a vasectomy reversal or not.

    Back in 2006, a study conducted at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok showed that chromosomal abnormalities of sperms were more common in vasectomized men than men with healthy fertility. However, the authors of the study acknowledged that they were unsure whether these findings would support the theory that the risk of birth defects was higher after vasectomy reversal. So far, there have been no follow-up studies to confirm that such a link exists.

    Although vasectomy reversal birth defects are among the possible risks discussed during the consultation, most men are pleased to hear that there is no definitive evidence to suggest that the rate of birth defects after vasectomy reversal is significantly higher than that among the general population. In fact, the rate of birth defects may actually be higher among those who achieve pregnancy through in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), which has been indicated in many researches.

    Based on the available scientific literature and our own experiences, if you are looking for a vasectomy reversal, you have nothing to worry about as far as having healthy children go.

    How do the Sperm Retrieval Techniques Affect the Qualification for Vasectomy Reversal? | Minnesota

    It is estimated that about 2 million couples each year face the problem of infertility. While assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) have helped many couples conceive, vasectomy reversal is the main option for restoring fertility for the vasectomized men. Small percentages of couples who fail in ARTs change their mind and would like to have vasectomy reversal. The common questions they ask are how the sperm retrieval techniques affect their qualification for the vasectomy reversal. This blog specifically answers this question.

    ARTs requires the collection of both egg and sperm to increase the likelihood of conception. The sperm-extraction methods vary depending on the men’s fertility, the ability of the surgeon to retrieve sperm and the needs of the couple.

    The five main types of sperm retrieval techniques are:

    Microsurgical Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (MESA): a small incision in scrotum is made to identify the epididymal tubules, then the sperms in epididymis are aspirated with a small needle.

    Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA): no incision is made, and a small needle is used to aspirate sperm percutaneously.

    Testicular Sperm Extraction (TeSE): a small incision in the skin of the scrotum is made to explore the testicle. Small pieces of tissue from the testicle are havested and the sperm is extracted from that tissue.

    Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TeSA): no incision is made, and a needled is used to percutaneously aspirate small amount of testicular tissue, then sperm is ten retrieved from the tissue.

    Testis Perc-Biopsy: a larger gauge needle is used to harvest sperms from the testicles. The process is similar to that of TeSA, but allows for the collection of a greater amount of sperms.

    The men with MESA and PESA are not good candidates for vasectomy reversal since both procedures could damage the vas tubules inside epididymis, and the tubules are easily blocked by the scar.

    The men with TESE, TESA and Testis Perc-Biopsy are still good candidates for vasectomy reversal since these procedures cause small damage in the testicular tissue, and the vas tubules inside epididymis usually remain intact.

    Is a Vasectomy Reversal the Best Option for You? | Minnesota

    Vasectomy is a permanent sterilization surgical procedure. But at some point in the future, life circumstances may change:

    • Some couples may simply regret it.
    • Some couple may have a much different situations in their health or finance now.
    • With a 50% divorce rate in the US, a new partner may have a much stronger desire for children than his ex-partner does.

    When this happens, you and your partner will need to look at the options available and decide whether a vasectomy reversal is the best option for you. These options include vasectomy reversal, in vitro fertilization, donor sperms, and adoption.

    If you’re considering a vasectomy reversal, you need to know several important factors that affect the success rate.

    Years after vasectomy
    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. Studies have consistently shown that vasectomy reversal procedures have a higher rate of success when the procedure is performed closer to the date of vasectomy. Theoretically, the sperm recovery rate drops two percent every year after vasectomy. This is because the likelihood of obstruction due to scar formation in the epididymis increases—especially after 7-10 years. Additionally, the anti-sperm antibodies in man’s body may limit or reduce sperm production.

    Type of reversal procedure
    There are two types of reversal procedures—vasovasostomy (VV) and vasoepididymostomy (VE). The aim of VV is to reconnect the vas where it was severed at the time of vasectomy, whereas during a vasoepididymostomy the surgeon connects the severed end of the vas deferens directly to the epdidymis (the tube attached to the testicle where sperm mature). A VE is more complex and technically demanding than a VV, and it a lower rate of success than vasovasostomy.

    Experience matters
    The vasectomy reversal procedures are usually conducted by urologists and other surgeons. You need to check surgeons’ credentials. Besides basic medical credentials, the most important questions you need to ask are:

    • How many vasectomy reversal does the doctor performs every year?
    • How many years has the doctor been performing vasectomy reversal?
    • Are the minimal invasive procedure with no scalpel and no needle techniques?
    • What are the failure rate and the complication rate?

    Most vasectomy reversal clinics charge expensive facility and anesthesia fees. If you are one of the few for whom vasectomy reversal does not succeed, it will be difficult enough, without a $7000-$10,000 bill!

    One Stop Medical Center provides premium reversal services with affordable price by not charging any facility and anesthesia fees.

    Reversal tends to be the least expensive choice, but the costs of IVF and other Assistive reproductive technologies (ARTs) could be much higher than that of vasovasostomy, and IVF may require several cycles before conception is achieved and has a lower overall success rate.

    ARTs may be a better alternative if vasectomy reversal is not a viable option, or if you don’t want to undergo a second surgery, or your reversal procedure fails.

    Although age is not the main factor for considering a vasectomy reversal , but a woman’s fertility begins to decline more sharply after age 35.

    Understanding of the Risks, Complications, and Side Effects Related to Vasectomy Reversal Procedures

    Similar to Easy Vasectomy, the complications from Easy Vasectomy Reversal are rare because of minimal invasive approach, but any surgery carries some degree of risk. Vasectomy reversal is much longer and more complicated microsurgery than a vasectomy, it has a greater chance of side effects.

    Most common vasectomy reversal complications include bleeding and infection following the procedure.

    Anesthesia: Dr. Shu performs the vasectomy reversal under local anesthesia which avoids the risks and complications from general anesthesia. If it is performed under the intravenous sedation or general anesthesia, patients must be cleared medically prior to the surgery. Anesthesia-related complications include reaction to the anesthetic medications, breath diffculty, and cardiac problem.

    Postoperative pain: The patients usually have mild or moderate pain for a few days after surgery. The pain can be managed with prescription narcotics or over-the-counter pain medications. The patients should avoid anti-inflammatory pain relievers (such as ibuprofen and aspirin) for the first 48 hours after the surgery to reduce the risk of bleeding, but Tylenol is fine to use. A small number of men experience long-term pain (more than three months) in the area of the scrotum or testicles after a reversal.

    Hematoma (collection of blood): Bleeding under the skin that may cause scrotum area to look bruised, and bruise shows commonly in a few days after surgery, but pooled blood can be occasionally caused by bleeding in the surgery site inside the scrotum. The patients should report any unusual scrotal swelling and bruise to the surgeon.

    Infections: Infection after vasectomy reversal is not common, and it occurs more common when there is a hematoma beneath the skin. Infection occurs in the wound or inside scrotum, can be treated with hematoma evacuation (I&D drainage) and antibiotics.

    Hydrocele (Fluid Collection): Fluid can build up inside scrotum and cause swelling. This may resolve on its own, but may sometimes need to be drained with a needle. Check with a doctor if there is any unusual swelling.

    Sperm granuloma: If sperms leak into the scrotum, the immune system can react to the sperm. The local tissue gradually forms an inflamed mass. It is much more common with vasectomy than vasectomy reversal. If it happens, it indicates that the vasectomy reversal is probably not successful.

    Testicular atrophy: Testicular atrophy occurs when the blood supply of the testicle was injured, which results in permanent damage to that testicle. This can lead to scarring and dysfunction of testicle with diminished sperm and testosterone production. In general, the other testicle produces enough sperm and testosterone to compensate.

    Low sperm count: After a vasectomy reversal, the initial sperm count might be lower than that before vasectomy. This may be caused by many factors such as scar tissue blocking the sperm in the connecting sites, or the reaction of the body’s immune system to the presence of sperm, or epididymal dysfuction.

    Sexual difficulties: There is no physiological reason that a vasectomy or a vasectomy reversal should affect the patient’s sex drive, or their ability to have sex or an erection, but these procedures can occasionally cause significant psychological and emotional response in some men.

    Why Procedure Clinic for Vasectomy and Vasectomy Reversal procedures | Minnesota

    1. No-scalpel and no needle technique that only requires one micro incision, which minimizes trauma, pain, and risk of complications, and it allayed many men’s fears with regard to the scalpel and needle

    2. Local anesthesia: Not having to use general anesthesia or IV sedation greatly reduces the risks associated with it.

    3. High success rate: The success rates of our operations are up there with the best, thanks to the extensive past surgical experience and high volume practice.

    4. High quality, personalized medical care: Being in an office allows for a more personal, patient oriented approach. Our team of professional and friendly staff go the extra mile to ensure patient satisfaction.

    5. Enjoy an accredited, private surgical center with a premium clinic environment.

    6. Affordability: At $690 for a vasectomy and $2741, an all inclusive price, for a vasectomy reversal, our prices are only a fraction of the cost of the same procedure done in a hospital or public surgical center. We do not charge facility fees or anesthesia fees.

    7. Website: Our website is full of information and resources for prospective patients. For those that want to learn more about the procedures, our practice, and our mission, our site is the right place to be!

    8. Online Registration: Using online registration makes scheduling appointments convenient and easy!

    9. We offer consultations on the same day as the surgery and the phone consultation.

    10. One trip system: An initial face-to-face consultation is no longer required. We also developed a mailer system to eliminate another trip for patients. This is especially good for those that live far away or out-of-state.

    11. Only 10 Minutes from the Minneaplios-St Paul airport (MSP)

    12. Located in the famous high end town of Edina, France Avenue is enriched with hospitals, medical offices, commercial and business centers, as well as hotels.

    Second Attempt After Unsuccessful Vasectomy Reversal

    Success rate for vasectomy reversal is generally reported in two ways: sperm recovery rate (patency success rate) and pregnancy rate. Patency rate refers to the likelihood of the vas deferens remaining open and providing unobstructed flow of sperm cells. High patency rate means that flow is unobstructed and sperm has a high likelihood of returning to the seminal fluid. Pregnancy rates are always lower than patency rates, as there are multiple factors that affect pregnancy.

    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. Primary failure after a vasectomy reversal means no sperm is seen in the post semen analysis tests. If the sperms showed up in the initial semen analysis after the procedure, but is not seen in the follow up semen analysis, it is called secondary vasovasostomy failure.

    If you have been frustrated and disappointed with an unsuccessful vasectomy reversal, you may want to ask a microsurgeon whether another attempt might be worth it.

    In general, first-time vasovasostomy failures often occur in patients that are more prone to develop heavier scars, which can narrow at the location of the reversal. In some cases, the tissue in the ends of vas deferens could be dead due to ischemia. Other reasons include an undetected epididymal blockage and epididymal dysfunction. Of course, the surgeon’s experience and techniques matters. This is why it is particularly important to choose your surgeon carefully. The success rates for a second reversal are slightly lower than for first-time procedures.
    Second-attempt Vasectomy Reversal Techniques

    If the patients showed evidence of healthy sperm in their seminal fluid during the first reversal procedure, or had the positive result in the initial semen analysis, they are probably the good candidates for a repeat vasectomy reversal When the vas deferens appears healthy and doesn’t have a lot of scar tissue from the previous procedure, a surgeon will usually do another vasovasostomy, and the chances of a successful second attempt are fairly good.

    If the vas fluid is not favorable and no sperm was seen, if the first reversal left the vas deferens too short, if injury to the vas deferens is more extensive, or if a surgeon believes that the epididymis is scarred or blocked, a vasectomy reversal re-do becomes more complicated. In some cases, the more effective approach is a vasoepididymostomy, which is a more complex procedure than a vasovasostomy. Dr.Shu doesn’t perform vasoepididymostomy, but he will refer you to see a urologist who performs vasoepididymostomy. In other cases, however, there are a number of effective alternatives to vasectomy reversal that are worth investigating, such as In vitro Fertilization (IVF), donor sperms, and adoption.

    Still not Pregnant after Vasectomy Reversal? | Minnesota

    Few things are more disheartening than months and months of negative pregnancy tests. You talked with your husband, and you both agreed that you wanted children. He got vasectomy reversal for you, but a year later you still aren’t pregnant. It may seem frustrating, but you shouldn’t lose hope without knowing all the facts.

    You won’t get pregnant immediately

    This cannot be said enough. If there is no sperm in the ejaculate six months following a vasovasostomy, the reversal is said to have failed. Even if there is sperm, that doesn’t guarantee pregnancy. It can take months for a man to return to a normal sperm count. Once sperm has been detected it still takes time for sperm number and motility to reach normal levels, and this time can vary from person to person.


    Getting pregnant takes patience. It is generally known that most men produce millions of new sperm every day. However, you might not know that these new sperm take about 2 ½ – 3 months to fully mature or that when sperm are initially formed they lack the ability to swim forward or fertilize an egg. It can take a couple of these cycles for sperm to regenerate. Even at this point it can take another 6 months for conception to occur. It’s important to remember that getting pregnant within months of a vasectomy reversal is not the norm. We do have a few patients who got pregnant in 2 months after vasovasostomy in the past few years.

    To monitor progress, a sperm sample will be taken 6 weeks after the procedure. Follow up tests will occur every two months after the initial test. This way we can see whether sperm has returned and at what level. Once sperm count has reached reasonable or normal levels, pregnancy usually occurs within 6 months of having timed intercourse- that is, having intercourse every other day from four to five days before and after ovulation. If this does not occur, it’s possible the issue may be due to fertility in the other partner.

    How is Easy Vasectomy Reversal® (Vasovasostomy) Done without a Needle? | Minnesota

    General anesthesia or intravenous sedation is needed in the traditional vasectomy reversal since a traditional approach to vasectomy reversal is to make two big incisions in each side of scrotum. Easy Vasectomy Reversal® with modern no scalpel technique and single mini incision reduces the trauma and pain, therefore, general anesthesia or intravenous sedation is no longer needed in the vasectomy reversal procedure (vasovasostomy).

    Conventional needle anesthesia in vasectomy Reversal involves the use of a 27 gauge needle to raise a wheal at the skin of scrotum; it is then advanced to both ends of the vas on each side where further anesthetic solution is deposited. Since the opening is so small in the no-scalpel Easy Vasectomy Reversal®, it is easy to apply anesthesia without the use of needles. A spray applicator (MadaJet®) delivers a stream of anesthetic so fine that it penetrates the skin and diffuses to a depth of about 3/16 of an inch, enough to surround and anesthetize each end of vas tube in turn as it is lifted into position beneath the skin, attaining a close to 100% efficacy rate with no need for supplemental anesthetic in the initial vas grabbing.

    The tiny opening in the dime-sized area of numb skin is made with a pointy hemostat: one tip makes a pinpoint opening, then the two tips are used to spread and enlarge the opening to about 1/3 of an inch. Since blood vessels in the skin are spread apart rather than cut, bleeding is less than when a scalpel is used.



    Once the vas ends are grabbed and lifted up, the complete local anesthesia is achieved by giving additional anesthetic with a fine needle, usually with no pain at all because of the partial anesthesia achieved with the MadaJet.

    How is the Easy Vasectomy ReversalⓇ Done without a Scalpel? | Minnesota

    The patients always wonder how the Easy Vasectomy Reversal is performed without a scalpel. This blog explains it.

    No-scalpel vasectomy instruments were originally developed by Dr. Shungiang Li, in China in the mid-70’s and introduced into the United States in 1989. Many years ago, Dr. Steven Shu innovatively improved his surgical techniques on vasectomy reversal procedure (vasovasostomy) by using the same principles and no-scalpel instruments.

    A vasectomy reversal (vasovasostomy) is a microsurgical procedure that reconnects the vas deferens where it was interrupted by a vasectomy. A traditional approach to vasectomy reversal is to make two big incisions in each side of scrotum. Over the past decade, more surgeons adopted a single incision in the middle of the scrotum. In order to further reduce the trauma, the recovery time, the operative time, and the postoperative complications, the mini incision vasectomy reversal approach was proposed. Similar to no-scalpel vasectomy, the initial mini-incision is created using a sharp penetrating forceps that spreads the tissue apart instead of cutting it with a sharp scalpel.


    ring clamp_2

    Dr. Shu uses two important no-scalpel instruments to perform the vasectomy reversal procedure. They are simply a very pointy hemostat, used initially to make a tiny opening into anesthetized skin of the scrotal wall, and a ring clamp, used initially to secure each vas tube in turn beneath this opening.

    The refined techniques of no-scalpel Easy vasectomy reversalⓇ minimize trauma, pain and complications. The introduction of no-scalpel Easy vasectomy reversalⓇ has successfully allayed many men’s fears with regard to the scalpel.

    Easy Vasectomy Reversal Receives Trademark from U.S. Patent and Trademark Office | Minnesota

    Office proceduralist, Dr. Steven Shu, obtains a registered trademark from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, for his Easy Vasectomy ReversalⓇ, a minimal invasive office procedure with no scalpel and no needle techniques.

    The introduction of Easy Vasectomy ReversalⓇ has successfully allayed many men’s fears with regard to the scalpel and needle. It is safer, less invasive, and has fewer complications and quick recovery. Under local anesthesia, only a tiny puncture is made at the midline of the scrotum skin, instead of bilateral big incisions done in the traditional vasectomy reversal.

    Easy Vasectomy ReversalⓇ Service in One Stop Medical Center (OSMC)
    OSMC developed a powerful website, EZvasectomy.com, with rich information on vasectomy reversal. All patients are required to review the important information on vasectomy reversal. Dr. Shu does the same day consultation to finalize the consultation on the day of surgery, so the patients don’t need another trip for the initial consultation if they live far away or out-of-state. Moreover, the patients are able to register their vasectomy reversal procedures by filling out the online registration form in the website.

    In order to reduce the financial burden for our vasectomy reversal patients, OSMC offers very affordable price that is only fractional cost of the same procedure done in other medical facilities, and it doesn’t charge facility fee and anesthesia fee since it owns an accredited, private surgical center. This way, more families can afford to have their vasectomy reversed.

    OSMC has simplified the vasectomy reversal care system to create a more affordable, friendly and convenient vasectomy reversal service.

    Understanding Male Infertility

    Infertility, simply put, is the inability to conceive children. There are several causes for male infertility: low sperm count, low sperm motility, and poor sperm morphology. Each of these can make conception difficult. Each of these can be a result of genetics or environment. These days, it seems like the list of things that’ll give you cancer or a disease is increasingly long and confusing, so I’ll try to make it simple.

    Low sperm count is simply the lack of sperm of in semen. A lot of this is caused by environmental factors such as excessive alcohol and drug abuse, sexually transmitted disease and infections, exposure to toxins, hazardous chemicals, and radiation. These can be usually be avoided by taking the proper precautions. Not to mention the many other negative side effects that accompanies them. Low sperm count can also be influenced by exposing the testicles to high heat (from a fever), and genetic causes such as Klinefelter’s syndrome, or cystic fibrosis.

    Abnormal sperm refers to sperm that is not a normal shape and is thus unable to swim or function normally, preventing conception. This can be caused by testicular inflammation, twisted or swollen veins in the scrotum, exposure to heat, as well as environmental influences such as exposure to toxic chemicals.

    Infertility can also be caused by other issues such as premature ejaculation, retrograde ejeculations, erectile dysfunction, and other structural problems related to the male reproductive organs. Although men do not suffer the same loss of fertility that women do with age, men past the age of 70 may exhibit decreasing sperm quality. Many medical conditions such as diabetes, HIV, thyroid diseases, organ failure, heart attack, and anemia can cause infertility as well.

    Various drugs can also cause infertility, including: steroids, cimetidine (Tagamet), sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), salazopyrine, colchicine, methadone, methotrexate (Folex), phenytoin (Dilantin), among many others.

    Vasectomy is obviously a common reason for male infertility.

    The best way to treat male infertility will be different for everyone. Obviously, preventative measures such as moderating drug, tobacco, and alcohol abuse, avoiding working with toxic or radioactive materials, using protection, and limiting sexual partners. Other solutions will depend mostly on the cause- like treating ejaculation issues or a disease that is causing infertility. The vasectomized patients may consider the vasectomy reversal procedures to restore their fertility.

    Robotic Vasectomy Reversal- The future of vasectomy reversal? | Minnesota

    Vasectomy is the most effective method of male contraception, with an estimated 500,000 vasectomies per year and rising. Naturally, as divorce rates have been steadily increasing, there has been a corresponding increase demand for vasectomy reversals. This poses some challenges- while vasectomies have become increasingly simple, quick, cheap, and noninvasive with techniques such as no-scalpel vasectomy, vasectomy reversal is still a relatively complicated microsurgical procedure that requires time, skill, concentration, and money. To give you an idea, the opening of the vas deferens (the tube which carries sperm to the semen) is 0.1mm wide, about as wide as a human hair. Knowing that, it makes sense why vasectomy reversals are harder than vasectomies; it’s a lot easier to cut it in half than stitch it back together. That’s not to say vasectomy reversal isn’t effective as it is now. Patency rates (moving sperm) have risen from 5-30% to 85-90% today with the advent of microsurgical techniques.

    How can it get better?

    Of course, vasectomy reversals aren’t always perfect. As time goes on, the chance of pregnancy goes down considerably. Also, the procedure is time-consuming and highly dependant on a physician’s skill. Robotic surgery is an exciting alternative that could theoretically mean a higher patency rate if there are no other complicating factors. Robotic surgery also theoretically has several potential advantages:

    Smaller incisions- Little robot arms are a lot smaller than a doctor’s hands. Also means less scarring.
    Visualization- Robots mounted with cameras can give detailed magnified images that the eye could not resolve
    Pain- Robotic surgery is usually less painful and likely to develop complications
    Time- Robotic surgery has the potential to be much faster than hands.

    What does the research say though?

    There have been vasectomy reversals that have been performed using robotic-assisted vasectomy reversal, but so far it does not offer a lot of advantages. Studies have given different results, but on average, robotic-assisted vasectomy reversals take just as long and are equal in patency rates. With no significant advantages over a regular vasectomy reversal, it’s not worth it for most hospitals and doctors to spend a lot of money on expensive robotic-assisted surgery equipment. However, that doesn’t mean robotic-assisted vasectomy reversals should be discounted. The technology is still in its infancy; who knows where it might be in 20 years down the road. As robots and AI get more advanced, operating time, precision, and effectiveness should increase, and the physical role of the surgeon will go down- not just for vasectomy, but all surgical procedures. It’ll be a while before that happens though. Your best bet right now is the tried-and-true vasectomy reversal, done by your local human doctor.

    Effects of Anti-sperm Antibodies in Patients with Vasectomy Reversal | Minnesota

    What are Anti–sperm Antibodies?

    An antibody is a blood protein produced by your body’s immune system in response to the stimulation of a specific antigen. Common antigens include multiple antigens in bacteria, viruses, cancer cells and foreign substances in the blood. The antibodies combine chemically with antigens and serve to help the body target and fight-off theses “dangerous” or “unwanted” cells or substances. However, it is possible for antibodies to work against the body’s own cells; such is the case in many autoimmune diseases. In cases of vasectomy, especially after long periods of time after the surgery, it is possible for the body to form antisperm antibodies. This is a concern for many patients seeking vasectomy reversal.

    This is normally not a problem with sperm cells as they technically not in the body, in the same sense that the inside of our digestive tracts are not considered to be inside the body. Sperm is created in the testes, transported by the vas deferens, mixed with seminal fluid, and exits the body during ejaculation- at no point does sperm ever contact blood, as direct contact is prevented by the testes/blood barrier.

    When the blood-testis barrier is compromised under certain circumstances, such as trauma/surgery, infection, cancer and congenital defect, sperm could be exposed to blood and trigger the immune responses, which leads to antibody development. Development of anti-sperm antibodies after vasectomy is thought to be related to the breakdown of the blood-testis barrier and leakage of sperm antigens from the epididymis. For this reason, the body may treat sperm as a foreign pathogen, creating antibodies that correspond to the antigens on the surface of the sperm cell. A vasectomy, especially if a long period of time has passed since the procedure, can result in higher concentrations of anti-sperm antibodies.

    Antisperm antibodies are found in between 8% and 21% of men in the general population, 9% and 36% of infertile patients, and 70-100% of men after vasectomy. Studies have provided convincing evidence that a vasectomy does not lead to development of autoantibodies in men other than anti-sperm antibodies, and there is no evidence of any immunologic or other diseases related to development of anti-sperm antibodies following vasectomy.

    What is the Relationship of Anti-sperm Antibodies with Vasectomy Reversal Procedures?

    Antisperm antibodies can affect fertility in the male if they are in high concentrations. Fertility loss can come at varying degrees; the more antibodies one has, the lower fertility will be. B- immune cells create multiple types of sperm antibodies. Some antibodies will cause sperm to stick together, forming large clumps that hinder mobility of the sperm. Other antibodies act as a “flag” for natural killer cells, and others can even bind with the antigens on the surface of the egg in the womb, causing its destruction.

    How Anti-sperm antibodies affect fertility following vasectomy reversal is not clear. While 79% of men that are tested after a vasectomy have elevated antisperm antibodies, the levels at which they are present are not significant enough in most men to cause a significant drop in fertility. Most experts, including those from the American Urological Association, agree that there are rarely significant long-term side effects that arise from vasectomy.

    The practice guidelines of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology stated:

    “Overall postoperative conception rate (following vasectomy reversal) is relatively high (50% to 70%) and the presence of antisperm antibodies does not correlate closely with postoperative fecundability. Consequently, the value of preoperative antisperm antibody testing remains controversial and unproven.”

    Here is a summary of research evidence:

    1) Despite almost all men having detectable antibodies following a vasectomy, two thirds of vasectomy reversals are successful in achieving a pregnancy.
    2) The presence and levels of antibodies following vasectomy reversal inconsistently predicts what couples will be successful in achieving a pregnancy.
    3) The subjects of most research were infertile men. Research data from fertile men is lacking.
    4) Testing for sperm antibodies is not well standardized. There are different types of antibodies and different locations in the sperm. The influences from each antibody are unclear.

    Why do Vasectomy Reversals Fail? | Minnesota

    First, it’s important to distinguish patency rate and pregnancy rate. Patency rate refers to the likelihood of the vas deferens remaining open and providing unobstructed flow of sperm cells. High patency rate means that flow is unobstructed and sperm has a high likelihood returning to fluid. Pregnancy rate refers to likelihood of pregnancy. Pregnancy rates are lower than patency rates, as there are multiple factors that affect pregnancy.

    One reason is abnormal sperm quality. Some men might just have low sperm quality to begin with, which a vasectomy reversal alone would not be able to fix, no matter how unobstructed the vas deferens is. Options for those wanting to have children with this condition include IVF or a trial of steroids and lycopene supplement.

    Another common reason for failure is anti-sperm antibodies, which immobilize sperm. These antibodies are typically found in the blood, so it is not common to find it in seminal fluid. Studies suggest 8-21% of men that have not had a vasectomy have anti-sperm antibodies in their fluid. By contrast, studies on vasectomized men show that 50-80% of men develop concentrations of these antibodies after the first year post-vasectomy. It is unclear how much this affects fertility after a reversal, as there have not been many studies done that confirm it, and there is not a surefire method of testing for antibodies in the semen either.

    Another possibility is simply scarring, which is not uncommon but possible as a result of vasectomy reversal. It can be treated with anti-inflammatory medication and/or repeat of the procedure. Even if none of these affect you, those who have had vasectomies for a very long time may experience epididymal dysfunction (e.g. the ability for sperm to move through the epididymis), which will either clear up on its own, or may require that you use IVF.

    Finally, many times it is the female partner that results in low pregnancy rates. Women over 35 experience a drop in fertility, which may be one reason why there is a discrepancy between patency and pregnancy rates.

    Microsurgical Vasovasostomy | Minnesota

    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!