Category Archives: Microscopic Vasectomy Reversal

Does prior sperm aspiration have a negative impact on vasectomy reversal?

A lot of couples debate which of the two major methods of having a child after vasectomy they should pursue. Often times it is a decision based on cost. For that couple wanting to do IVF first, this study shows no significant scarring as a result of the aspiration and no significant negative effect to a successful vasectomy reversal.

Vasectomy Reversal Possible After PESA

Urology – July 30, 2008 – Vol. 24 – No. 07

Vasectomy reversal is possible after percutaneous sperm aspiration.

Article Reviewed: Results of Vasovasostomy or Vasoepididymostomy After Failed Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspirations. Marmar JL, Sharlip I, Goldstein M: J Urol; 2008; 179 (April): 1506-1509.

Results of Vasovasostomy or Vasoepididymostomy After Failed Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspirations.

Marmar JL, Sharlip I, Goldstein M:
J Urol; 2008; 179 (April): 1506-1509

Background: 4% to 6% of men consider having children after vasectomy. Choices are either vasectomy reversal or sperm aspiration for in vitro fertilization with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF-ICSI). Percutaneous sperm aspiration (PESA) is one way for sperm retrieval, but the degree of epididymal damage is unknown. The request for microsurgical reconstruction after failed PESA is limited.

Objective: To investigate the ability to perform vasectomy reversal after failed PESA-IVF-ICSI. Design: Retrospective study involving a specialized subset of patients who requested and underwent a vasectomy reversal after PESA. Participants: 8 patients who failed 1 to 4 attempts at IVF-ICSI with sperm retrieved by PESA. Methods: Patients were identified from the records of 3 experienced infertility microsurgeons. The side of the PESA was determined. Vasovasostomy (VV) or vasoepididymostomy (VE) was performed based on standard of care–intraoperative fluid from the testicular end of the vas. Two-layer VV or end-to-side/2-stitch VE was performed. Postoperative semen analysis was performed at 3-month intervals. Results: All patients had bilateral PESAs performed. Of the 8 patients, 4 had no apparent abnormality to the caput of the epididymis, 2 had small blue cysts at the caput, and 2 had small areas (<0.5 cm) that appeared necrotic or ischemic. No specific puncture site for the PESA could be seen at the time of reconstruction. Ten of 16 vasal units had sperm in the testicular end of the vas at the time of vasectomy reversal. Six of 16 vasal units had pasty fluid and required VE, and 1 patient had a bilateral VE. The time from vasectomy was from 15 to 22 years. All patients postoperatively had sperm in the ejaculate from 1 to 200 million/cc, with 15% to 90% motility. Surgery resulted in 4 pregnancies leading to deliveries. Conclusions: PESA caused only limited trauma to the epididymis with 87.5% of patients able to have a vasovasostomy on at least one side. Vasoepididymostomy was more likely related to the duration from vasectomy than due to scarring from PESA. Reviewer’s Comments: This paper reports on an important question about a simple percutaneous procedure to retrieve sperm for IVF-ICSI. A select group of men will want to undergo vasectomy reversal after a failed IVF-ICSI cycle. This paper answers the concern about possible scarring from PESA–it does not appear to. The technique did not differ in outcome despite 3 different surgeons involved for both PESA and reversals. The study is, of course, limited by the small number, but this surgery is not performed very often. The ability to bypass/avoid scarring at the epididymis may be related to several ducts coming from the rete testes to become efferent ducts before becoming a single tubule. The caput is often the target for PESA; therefore, if any scarring occurs, then the other efferent ducts may provide sperm down the epididymis. (Reviewer–Ajay K. Nangia, MBBS).

 

 

What to expect after a vasectomy reversal…is it like having a vasectomy?

From Vasectomy.com

What You Can Expect After a Vasectomy Reversal

Vasectomy reversals are longer and more complicated than the original vasectomy procedure. Because of that, recovery takes more time, although it is still fairly quick. In general, side effects after a reversal tend to be mild and disappear within a short period of time.

The First Few Days

During the first couple of days after surgery, you may experience slight swelling or bruising in the scrotum. In addition, the surgery and anesthesia could cause a headache, general pain, and nausea, among other short-lived side effects.

To soothe the scrotal area and help minimize swelling during the first few days, you’ll need to elevate your legs, stay off your feet, and use ice packs. You’ll need to avoid submerging the incision in water fort he first 48 hours after the procedure–showers after a day or so are just fine but avoid baths and swimming, both of which increase the risk of infection. Your surgeon will also give you a course of antibiotics to prevent infection.

Contact your doctor immediately if you have sudden chills or fever, swelling or pain that gets worse, or drainage from the site of surgery. These are all potential signs of infection.

The First Few Weeks

After a vasectomy reversal, you will gradually be able to return to your previous physical activities, typically over the course of three to four weeks.

Within a week or so you should be able to return to work and handle most of your normal routine, but you’ll want to avoid major physical activity for two to three weeks. This includes heavy lifting, working out, and excessive walking or driving.

You should also be able to resume sexual activity within two to three weeks; the procedure should have no effect on your sex drive nor your ability to have an erection or orgasm.

Pregnancy after Reversal

Your doctor will begin checking for the presence of sperm in your semen after one or two months, and will continue testing periodically until sperm have reached acceptable levels. It’s normal for sperm to take several months to appear in ejaculate, and it can sometimes take up to 15 months for them to return.

One way in which the success of a vasectomy reversal is measured is sperm count and sperm motility. Both of these may not return to a normal range for three to six months. Overall, 92 percent of vasectomy reversals result in sperm returning to the semen.

The ultimate test for whether a reversal has been successful, however, is pregnancy, which can sometimes occur as quickly as a few months after the procedure or as long as several years later. Roughly 30 to 60 percent of vasectomy reversals ultimately lead to natural pregnancies, and over half result in pregnancy within two years.

Reviewed November 19, 2012 by Sarah K. Girardi, MD – Urologist

References

van Dongen J, Tekle FB, van Roijen JH. Pregnancy rate after vasectomy reversal in a contemporary series: influence of smoking, semen quality and post-surgical use of assisted reproductive techniques. BJU Int. 2012; 110(4):562-7.

Michielsen D, Beerthuizen R. State-of-the art of non-hormonal methods of contraception: VI. Male sterilisation. Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care. 2010 Apr;15(2):136-49.

Vasectomy Reversal-Age of the female is important.

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In addition to the skill of the surgeon, the character of the fluid at the time of the reversal, and years since the vasectomy…the age of the female is an important factor in achieving pregnancy.

What Affects Pregnancy, Patency Rates After Vasectomy Reversal?

Urology – October 30, 2015 – Vol. 33 – No. 4

The Silber grading scale appears to dictate pregnancy rates after vasectomy reversal with increasing female age being a negative predictive factor.

Article Reviewed: Impact on Pregnancy of Gross and Microscopic Vasal Fluid During Vasectomy Reversal. Ostrowski KA, Polackwich AS, et al: J Urol; 2015;194 (July): 156-159.

Background: The examination of the vasal fluid at the time of vasectomy reversal has implications for surgical decision making with effects on patency and pregnancy rates. The Silber grading system characterizes these findings and has been used to help surgeons with the decision to perform vasovasostomy (VV) or the more technically challenging vasoepididymostomy (VE).

Objective: To determine both intraoperative and patient factors that affect pregnancy rates after vasectomy reversal.

Design: Retrospective review of prospectively maintained database.

Methods: This paper reviewed the results of a single surgeon series that encompassed >30 years of vasectomy reversals. Vasal fluid was characterized as opalescent, creamy, pasty or clear and intraoperative light microscopy was used determined if sperm parts were present or motile. Univariate and multivariate analysis examined the data set for significant factors that affected pregnancy rates.

Results: 2947 vasectomy reversals were included in the analysis. Pregnancy status was only known for 31% of these cases. Bilateral VV was performed 83% of the time and most patients fell into a Silber 1 to 3 classification. No factors met statistical significance for increasing the pregnancy rate, although the presence of motile sperm was almost significant (P =0.075).

Negative predictive factors for pregnancy were identified on multivariate analysis with increasing female age and the findings of either no sperm (odds ratio [OR], 0.08) or sperm heads only (OR, 0.46) on microscopy decreasing pregnancy rates. Rarely were sperm parts identified when pasty fluid was encountered.

Conclusions: The findings from this paper echo the findings of the Vasovasostomy study group, with the Silber grading system essentially dictating pregnancy rates.

Reviewer’s Comments: The decision to perform VV or VE can be a difficult one and is based on many factors including findings from the vasal fluid, time since vasectomy, and surgeon skill level. Few papers have examined this decision-making algorithm since the landmark paper by the Vasovasostomy study group in 1991. While most microsurgeons prefer VV to VE due to increased patency and pregnancy rates, the need to perform a VE is generally encouraged when pasty fluid or no sperm parts are found in the vas at the time of reversal. These findings are interesting and are another important addition to the literature. Unfortunately, despite the authors’ efforts, relatively few predictive factors were found. Their findings do somewhat parallel those published by the Vasovasostomy study group, wherein the Silber grading system appears to correlate with pregnancy rates. The authors identified sperm heads only (Silber 4) or no sperm (Silber 5) as negative predictors with motile sperm (Silber 1) almost achieving statistical significance as a positive factor.(Reviewer–Charles Welliver, MD).

Tubal ligation vs. Vasectomy-which is more common?

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The more invasive tubal ligation still outnumbers vasectomy among the options for permanent sterilization for couples. The rationale for this involves speculation, but male partner anxiety surrounding issues of sexual function have been proposed and are certainly evident when counseling males before vasectomy.

Urology – April 30, 2016 – Vol. 34 – No. 1
Vasectomy is not associated with decreased frequency of sexual intercourse.
Article Reviewed: Relationship Between Vasectomy and Sexual Frequency. Guo DP, Lamberts RW, Eisenberg ML: J Sex Med; 2015;12 (September): 1905-1910.
Background: Men often report the concern that having a vasectomy will impair their future sexual function.

Objective: To determine in an objective and quantifiable manner if vasectomy leads to a decrease in sexual frequency.

Design: The authors analyzed data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), which is a large survey of American households.

Continue reading Tubal ligation vs. Vasectomy-which is more common?

Vasectomy Reversal Better With Same Partner as Prior to Vasectomy-Georgia Vasectomy Reversal

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If nothing else…this article is interesting. Although the most common cause of desiring a vasectomy reversal is a male who has had children and a vasectomy has remarried someone with no children. This study showed that %17 of the time a reversal is desired by a couple who have had a vasectomy and now desire more children. Their success rate is higher than if the male remarries and has a reversal.

Vasectomy Reversal Better With Same Partner as Prior to Vasectomy 

Urology – July 30, 2015 – Vol. 32 – No. 12

Vasectomy reversal success in regard to clinical pregnancy is improved if the patient has the same partner before and after vasectomy.

Article Reviewed: Higher Outcomes of Vasectomy Reversal in Men With the Same Female Partner as Before Vasectomy. Ostrowski KA, Polackwich AS, et al: J Urol; 2015;193 (January): 245-247.

Background: Vasectomy reversal is requested by around 6% of men who previously had undergone a vasectomy and desire subsequent fertility. Frequently, this is due to a new relationship; however, some couples desire another child or may have lost a child. Two small prior studies have suggested improved pregnancy rates following vasectomy reversal with the same partner as before vasectomy.

Objective: To determine if clinical pregnancy and birth rates are higher for men undergoing vasectomy reversal with the same female partner.

Design: Retrospective review of a prospectively collected database.

Methods: All patients from a single surgeon were reviewed from 1978 to 2011. Obstructive interval, surgery type, vasal fluid character, and sperm character were recorded. Men either self-reported pregnancy and birth rates or completed a survey response. All patients had at least 12 months of follow-up data.

Results: Over the time frame, 3135 men underwent vasectomy reversal; 17% (524 men) undergoing vasectomy reversal had the same female partner. A total of 258 (49%) responded to the survey, and 89% (229) underwent bilateral vasectomy reversal. The average patient and partner age was significantly higher in the same partner group compared to the new partner group, although the same partner group had a significantly shorter obstructive interval at 5.65 years versus 9.23 years. Overall, the clinical pregnancy rate for men with the same partner was 83% compared with 60% in men with a new partner. After regression, this maintained an odds ratio of 2 and was significant.

Conclusions: Men undergoing vasectomy reversal with the same partner experience a higher pregnancy rate compared men with a new partner.

Reviewer’s Comments: This article supports prior articles by Kolettis et al and Goldstein et al. The larger number of patients provides an excellent dataset even though it is a single surgeon. The success rates are substantially higher and maintain significance, even after controlling for ages and obstructive interval. It is also useful to have typical data of a 60% pregnancy rate for those with a new partner. Many patients are interested in “success” following surgery, and this is not solely a desire to have sperm return to the ejaculate. There are limitations, however, because the survey results were returned by only 49% of patients, leaving the potential for reporting bias. Overall, this information is useful when counseling patients with the same partner as prior to vasectomy.(Reviewer–Gregory Lowe, MD).

 

Author: Ostrowski KA, Polackwich AS, et al
Author Email: hedgesja@ohsu.edu

Does having a vasectomy cause prostate cancer?


Journal of Clinical Oncology September 2016

By Rebecca L Anderson, Eric J Jacobs, Christina C Newton, Victoria L Stevens
Purpose In a recent large prospective study, vasectomy was associated with modestly higher risk of prostate cancer, especially high-grade and lethal prostate cancer. However, evidence from prospective studies remains limited. Therefore, we assessed the associations of vasectomy with prostate cancer incidence and mortality in a large cohort in the United States.
Patients and Methods We examined the association between vasectomy and prostate cancer mortality among 363,726 men in the Cancer Prevention Study II (CPS-II) cohort, of whom 7,451 died as a result of prostate cancer during follow-up from 1982 to 2012. We also examined the association between vasectomy and prostate cancer incidence among 66,542 men in the CPS-II Nutrition Cohort, a subgroup of the CPS-II cohort, of whom 9,133 were diagnosed with prostate cancer during follow-up from 1992 to 2011. Cox proportional hazards regression modeling was used to estimate multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs.
Results In the CPS-II cohort, vasectomy was not associated with prostate cancer mortality (HR, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.93 to 1.10). In the CPS-II Nutrition Cohort, vasectomy was not associated with either overall prostate cancer incidence (HR, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.96 to 1.08) or high-grade prostate cancer incidence (HR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.78 to 1.07 for cancers with Gleason score ≥ 8).

Conclusion Results from these large prospective cohorts do not support associations of vasectomy with either prostate cancer incidence or prostate cancer mortality.

 

The most cost effective vasectomy reversal in Georgia.

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Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Vasovasostomy Techniques

Urology – September 30, 2016 – Vol. 34 – No. 7

The authors found decreased costs without compromises to surgical outcomes with the modified 1-layer vasovasostomy technique.

Article Reviewed: Comparative Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Modified 1-Layer Versus Formal 2-Layer Vasovasostomy Technique. Nyame YA, Babbar P, et al: J Urol; 2016;195 (February): 434-438.

Continue reading The most cost effective vasectomy reversal in Georgia.