Frequently Asked Questions
Is a Vasectomy Reversable?
Many people are told at the time of their vasectomies that their vasectomy will not be able to be reversed. Many physicians, who do not perform vasectomy reversal procedures as often as we do, will reinforce the same message. Couples often receive less than expert opinions when they ask the question, “Is our vasectomy reversible?” Every day, calls and emails are made inquiring about our vasectomy reversal procedures. There is really no way to know that your vasectomy cannot be reversed at the time of your vasectomy, unless something unethical was done. To date, we have never found a normal vasectomy that could not be reversed. In our experience, vasectomies can all be reversed, although we would agree that some can be much more difficult than others.
There is also no time expiration for when a vasectomy can no longer be reversed. To date, the oldest vasectomy we have reversed was performed 50 years ago! We strive to allow our patients the opportunity to revisit the decision to reproduce or reverse a prior decision that they now regret.
Fortunately or unfortunately, people make mistakes. We make mistakes in who we marry. We make mistakes in how we choose to limit our reproduction. When we remarry, many men find their prior decisions unfair to their new spouse. Some couples will simply say that they made the wrong decision in haste, and not explain further. There are many other reasons men desire to have their vasectomies reversed as well, including post vasectomy pain. It is not uncommon for men to experience various types of pain following a vasectomy. Vasectomy reversal usually alleviates this problem and is the only effective treatment available, short of removal of the epididymis or testis itself.
At Carolina Vasectomy Reversal, the goal is to not only to successfully reverse the vasectomy procedure, but to also promote a healthy recovery to maximize your chances of long term fertility. It is very important not to resume strenuous activity too soon. This procedure is too important and too costly not to follow directions and allow adequate time for recovery. If you cannot take proper care after surgery to prevent injury, please wait until you can, before having this procedure performed. Abstaining from physical activity during recovery includes work related activities as well.
What is the Success Rate?
One factor that is very important with regard to the success of a vasectomy reversal is how the vas is actually put back together. There are some physicians who use glue to reconnect the ends of the vas. In our opinion, surgical glue lacks precision and has not been approved for internal use. Others place 4, 5, or 6 sutures around the vas. This is what we commonly see on the reversals that have been performed elsewhere that we are asked to re-do. Placing 4, 5, or 6 sutures in the repair will not be water tight and it does not adequately hold down the lining of the vas, which can lead to scar formation and failure. This is actually the most common reason we see for reversal procedures that have failed. Absorbable sutures used to reconnect the vas also commonly fail, mainly because they dissolve with an inflammatory reaction causing scarring inside the vas. We only use absorbable sutures to close the skin incisions, allowing you to leave without needing to make a return visit to have them removed.
We always use very small permanent sutures to reconnect the vas as they are the least reactive with the tissue and as a result cause the least amount of scar. We purchase only the finest suture available. We never purchase suture that has passed its expiration date or has been re-sterilized and might be brittle or inferior in any way. Dr. Daniel will place between 20 and 30 extremely small sutures around the circumference of the vas. This allows for a more precise and water tight closure. Although on rare occasion, scarring can still develop, the likelihood is significantly less than when one of the other techniques mentioned have been employed. Using sutures of appropriate size to reconnect the vas requires the use of a considerable amount of magnification with a high quality surgical microscope.
Before scheduling a reversal procedure with any surgeon, you should be sure to ask if they are able to perform a bypass procedure if needed. Some reversal surgeons are not capable of performing bypass procedures and unfortunately are not upfront with their patients about this. Patients are then told that their reversal did not work, because they needed a bypass procedure when the original reversal was performed. We would much rather have you come to us for your initial reversal, rather than have you come to us for a second procedure, because the first procedure was not the right procedure for you.
Let us be clear, not everyone will require a bypass procedure. However, if during your reversal we see that a bypass procedure is the correct procedure for you, that is the procedure that will be performed by Dr. Daniel, and you will not be charged an additional fee.
HOW SOON CAN WE HAVE SEX?
The longer you wait, the better. The reason we ask you to abstain from sexual activity for 30 days following the vasectomy reversal procedure is strictly based on physiology of healing; it just takes that long for the collagen fibers to give the tissue enough strength beyond just the suture material. It actually takes about 90 days to reach 80% of normal, but if we told men to wait 90 days before resuming sexual activity, we would not be performing vasectomy reversals very often, much less every day. Should you accidentally put too much stress on the sutured site, the recently repaired vas deferens could tear apart or disjoin, leaving you with a lot of pain, and money spent for...nothing.
What is the Cost?
We keep this simple. We quote one low fee for the total vasectomy reversal procedure. We do not add a facility fee, microscope fee, supply fee, or any other fee. We do not quote numbers that only later are revealed to not include another hidden cost. There are quite a few components to the cost of this type of surgery. The problem is that the total cost is all that really matters. Telling you what one procedure costs versus another or not telling you the extra costs is not really very helpful.
When you call our office, our staff will be happy to tell you exactly what your cost will be for this procedure and what is included in that fee. This is very important. The cost of anything without knowing what is or is not included is not helpful. In fairness, you cannot compare costs without this information.
We will NOT quote you a separate facility charge. This alone can be several thousand dollars if you have this procedure performed at any hospital or outpatient surgery facility.
We will NOT quote you a separate fee for your consultation. In fact, we will not quote any fee for the consultation. We include this in the cost of doing business. Most people who have had the opportunity to discuss this procedure personally with Dr. Daniel choose Dr. Daniel to perform their procedure.
We will NOT add on a supply or pharmaceutical fee. The only cost that will not be included in the pricing you are given will be for the generic medication prescriptions you will be sent to pick up at a pharmacy close to our facility. (We are not allowed to pick up your prescriptions for you, since they will include your post operative narcotics.) These prescriptions are for medications that will be used to help you relax during the procedure and for your post operative pain management. The costs of these medications are generally covered by insurance and when this is not the case, are generally less than $50.
We will NOT add on any additional anesthesia fees.
We will NOT change the fee if a more complicated bypass type procedure is indicated!
We will NOT quote you a fee that includes only one testicle! Believe it or not, there are vasectomy reversal surgeons who routinely reverse only one testicle.
We will NOT charge you extra for the use of our surgical microscope! This fee alone in most hospitals and surgical centers will exceed our total fee.
Our one low price includes everything with no surprises!
Owning our own surgical facility and all of our equipment allows us to offer this surgery at a substantial discount to what is available in a hospital or outpatient surgical center. In all actuality, this allows us to offer better quality suture, surgical instrumentation, surgical lightning, and the highest quality surgical microscope available since Dr. Daniel has complete control over the selection and purchase of these items. We strive to make the whole process as convenient as possible, while offering the highest level of service. Please call today for more information!