Mayo Clinic's approach

At Mayo Clinic, neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons draw upon their vast experience with spinal fusion techniques to help provide exactly the treatment and care you need for your specific condition.

  • Teamwork. People who need spinal fusion sometimes need other types of back surgery at the same time. Mayo Clinic's integrated practice gives you access to all the experts needed to solve your problems.
  • Experience. Mayo Clinic surgeons have decades of experience in performing spinal fusions. They have become adept at repairing a variety of extremely complicated spinal problems.
  • Research. Mayo Clinic research scientists and doctors are continually improving spinal fusion techniques. Research by Mayo specialists covers a wide range of areas, including minimally invasive surgical techniques, biomechanical enhancements for screws and hooks used in spinal fusion, and better techniques for complicated spinal reconstructions.
  • Technology. State-of-the-art imaging technology helps Mayo physicians precisely diagnose your back or neck problems. Correct diagnosis is key to successful treatment. Advanced imaging and brain-monitoring techniques during spinal fusion surgeries help improve safety and surgical outcomes.

The Mayo Clinic experience and patient stories

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care like they've never experienced. See the stories of satisfied Mayo Clinic patients.

  1. Back to Pursuing Her Passions After Spine Surgery

    Kathie Hanson went from being an active outdoor enthusiast to being unable to walk without assistance. But the care she received at Mayo Clinic has again allowed her to take part in the many activities that fill her life with joy. Swimming has been a huge part of Kathie Hanson's life. She was a lifeguard [...]

  2. An Active Life Restored, Thanks to Regenerative Medicine

    For years, Rick Amatuzio lived with severe back pain that kept him from the active life he'd always savored. But advanced diagnostic tests and regenerative medicine therapy at Mayo Clinic ultimately led to a complete recovery. Now Rick once again can play sports and enjoy the outdoors free from pain. A typical weekend for Rick [...]

  3. 62-Year-Old Spinal Fusion Stands the Test of Time

    In 1956, spinal fusion surgery was in its infancy. But the pioneering medicine Joyce Gugler received for scoliosis from her Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeons at that time set her on the path to a pain-free future. Even at age 13, Joyce Weisman Gugler knew she was receiving state-of-the-art treatment when, in 1956, she underwent spinal [...]

Expertise and rankings

  • Experience. Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons perform more than 900 spinal fusions each year.
  • Advanced techniques. Mayo surgeons can perform spinal fusion from the back, front or side of the spine and have access to the newest varieties of bone-fusing materials. Minimally invasive approaches are selected, when appropriate.
  • Efficient care. In many cases you can be evaluated and have surgery all within just a few days.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz., are ranked among the Best Hospitals for orthopedics by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., is ranked highly performing for orthopedics.

Learn more about the expertise and rankings of Mayo Clinic's neurology, neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery departments.

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Costs and insurance

At Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, there are three options for vasectomy reversal:

  • Option 1: Microscopic vasectomy reversal in the operating room under anesthesia (preferred option). Cost: $7,600.
  • Option 2: Microscopic vasectomy reversal in the clinic using local anesthesia and light sedation. Cost: $4,200.
  • Option 3: Robotic-assisted vasectomy reversal. Performed only in select cases. Cost varies depending on insurance coverage.
  • Freezing sperm (cryopreservation) at the time of the vasectomy reversal. Cost: Approximately $1,000. Fees for long-term storage also apply and range from $275 to $500 depending on medical history.

Which option is right for me?

In general, Option 1 is the preferred method for vasectomy reversal. This is because it allows the surgeon the opportunity to perform a more complicated procedure (vasoepididymostomy) if it is required.

In contrast, Option 2 only allows the simpler vasovasostomy to be performed. This option may result in lower success rates if it is discovered during surgery that you would have benefited more from a vasoepididymostomy.

Whether a vasovasostomy or vasoepididmyostomy will be required on one or both sides is not known until the vas deferens has been cut at the time of surgery. Although many methods of predicting which procedure will be required have been developed, none are completely accurate.

Option 3 is typically performed only in cases where the vas deferens has become blocked at the level of the inguinal canal. This most often occurs following a hernia repair, although it is a rare complication.

Will my insurance cover vasectomy reversal?

Insurance companies rarely cover male infertility procedures. This means that you may need to pay all of the costs associated with the surgery. To help reduce the chance for unexpected costs, Mayo Clinic has fixed prices. The price applies even if the surgery is more challenging or if a more complex procedure is required on one or both sides.

When do I pay for surgery?

Because of limited operating room time and the costs incurred by Mayo Clinic with the procedures, the full amount of the procedure must be paid prior to scheduling. If the procedure is cancelled for any reason, the portion of your payment that has not been used toward existing balances at Mayo Clinic will be refunded in full with no cancellation fees.

Should I freeze sperm at the time of my vasectomy reversal?

The decision of whether to freeze sperm at the time of vasectomy reversal is based on a few considerations. Freezing sperm requires additional upfront costs, including an estimated $1,000 for retrieval plus $275 to $500 annual storage fees. The advantage of freezing at the time of surgery is that no additional procedures would be required if the vasectomy reversal is not successful. The disadvantage is that freezing sperm may have been unnecessary if the vasectomy reversal is successful.

If you decide against freezing sperm at the time of your vasectomy reversal, and if your vasectomy reversal is unsuccessful, sperm may be retrieved at a later time, directly from the testicles. This requires a minimal office-based procedure and costs approximately $2,000 to $3,000. Annual storage costs of $275 to $500 still apply.

Given the overall high success rates with vasectomy reversal, the ability to retrieve sperm at a later date and similar costs with upfront versus later freezing, most couples choose not to freeze sperm at the time of surgery.

Clinical trials

Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease.

March 21, 2018
References
  1. Spinal fusion. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://www.orthoinfo.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00348. Accessed July 8, 2015.
  2. Chou R. Subacute and chronic low-back pain: Surgical treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 8, 2015.
  3. Herkowitz HN, et al. Principles of bone fusion. In: Rothman-Simeone The Spine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 8, 2015.
  4. Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Spine Surgery. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
  5. Ask Mayo Expert. Cervical spine surgery. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
  6. McMahon SB, et al. Surgery for back and neck pain (including radiculopathies). In: Wall & Melzack's Textbook of Pain. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 21, 2015.
  7. Canale ST, et al. Arthrodesis of the spine. In: Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 12th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 22, 2015.
  8. Bridwell KH, et al. What's new in spine surgery? Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. 2015;97:1022.
  9. Huddleston PM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. Oct. 12, 2015.
  10. Riggin ER. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 23, 2015.