Risks

Almost all vasectomies can be reversed. However, this doesn't guarantee success in conceiving a child. Vasectomy reversal can be attempted even if several years have passed since the original vasectomy — but the longer it's been, the less likely it is that the reversal will work.

Vasectomy reversal rarely leads to serious complications. Risks include:

  • Bleeding within the scrotum. This can lead to a collection of blood (hematoma) that causes painful swelling. You can reduce the risk of hematoma by following your doctor's instructions to rest after surgery. Ask your doctor if you need to avoid aspirin or other types of blood-thinning medication before and after surgery.
  • Infection at the surgery site. Although very uncommon, infections are a risk with any surgery and may require treatment with antibiotics in certain situations.
  • Chronic pain. Persistent pain after vasectomy reversal is very uncommon.
March 11, 2016
References
  1. Dickey RM, et al. The evolution of vasectomy reversal. Current Urology Reports. 2015;16:40.
  2. What is vasectomy reversal? Urology Care Foundation. http://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/vasectomy-reversal. Accessed Oct. 8, 2015.
  3. Wein AJ, et al., eds. Surgical management of male infertility. In: Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 8, 2015.
  4. Rayala BZ, et al. Common questions about vasectomy. American Family Physician. 2013;88:757.
  5. Wespes E. Vasectomy in male contraception and its reversal. European Urology Supplements. 2014;13:68.
  6. Smith JA, et al. Vasovasostomy and vasoepididymostomy. In: Hinman's Atlas of Urologic Surgery. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 8, 2015.
  7. Ongaro TJ. Overview of vasectomy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 20, 2015.
  8. Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Vasectomy reversal. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
  9. Trost LW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 5, 2015.
  10. Castle EP (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ. Dec. 6, 2015.