Microscopic Vasectomy Reversal-How big is a micron?

how-big-is-a-micron

So why is an operating microscope necessary for reversing a vasectomy?

Well…

The thickness of a strand of hair is 100 microns.

The outside thickness of the vas deferens is about 2 mm and the lumen of the vas (the part of the vas that is connected with the reversal procedure and the tube that sperm travels) averages about .56 mm.

The suture used used for the procedure is 70 -100 microns, i.e. the suture is about the diameter of the human hair.

So…12 or so sutures the size of hair is used to join a tube that is that is less than a millimeter in diameter.

1000 microns equals a millimeter.

Of note: The suture that is usually be used to close an incision after an abdominal procedure would be bigger than the tube in which sperm travels in the vas deferens.

Very small sutures must be used to connect very small openings if there is going to be enough room after connecting the tubes for sperm to travel in their quest to achieve pregnancy.

And now…you know the rest of the story-and why…size does matter.

Can a vasectomy be reversed?

39bb6928e1c930a935046397f62ef6f5

Yes a vasectomy  can be reversed…but that really isn’t the issue. The real question is if a vasectomy is reversed what are the chances that it will be successful?

The answer is multifactorial and dependent on the age of the male and female, how long ago was the vasectomy done, the reproductive health of the female, the surgical reconnection of the vas deferens staying open after they are rejoined, and finally the quality of the semen produced after the reversal. All of these factors explain why the patency of the procedure (presence of sperm) and the pregnancy (it worked) of the procedure differ.

Yes you can send a boy to college but you can’t make him think

and yes you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.

Yes you can reverse a vasectomy but that don’t guarantee no baby

It’s about if it will result in success and that my friend is a big maybe!

Reversal Rates Based on the Time Since Vasectomy

Less than 3 years  Patency 97% Pregnancy 76%

3-8 years             Patency 88% Pregnancy 53%

9-14 years           Patency 79% Pregancy 44%

Greater than 15 years Patency 71% Pregancy 30%

Belker AM, et al. Results of 1,469 microsurgical vasectomy reversals by the Vasovasostomy Study Group. Journal of Urology 1991; 145(3):505-11.