Vasectomy | Vasectomy Reversal

If you need a vasectomy, it’s good to know that the doctors and specialists at MaineHealth offer advanced and minimally invasive surgery. At MaineHealth, our specialists provide safe and effective vasectomies on an outpatient basis. Our doctors offer the most up-to-date vasectomy services.

What is a vasectomy?

A vasectomy is minor surgery that cuts or blocks the tubes that carry sperm. Sperm do not reach the semen that is ejaculated during sex. A vasectomy is a highly effective form of birth control for men. An egg cannot be fertilized when there is no sperm. More than a half-million American men choose vasectomies each year for birth control. Vasectomies usually are covered by medical insurance.

During and after a vasectomy

  • During a vasectomy, a local anesthetic is injected into the area. Patients also may be given medication to make them sleepy and relaxed.

  • With a traditional vasectomy, your doctor makes one or two small openings in your scrotum. Two tubes are cut and sealed.

  • Patients can have a traditional vasectomy or a no-scalpel vasectomy that uses a small clamp instead of a scalpel to cut the skin of the scrotum. There is less bleeding and a smaller hole in the skin.

  • Vasectomies take about 20 minutes to 30 minutes.

  • Expect swelling after the surgery, lie on your back, and apply cold packs to the area.

  • Men with office jobs that do not require physical activity can return to work after one or two days. Avoid heavy lifting.

A vasectomy is not effective right away

After a vasectomy, you must use birth control and have a semen sample tested to show a zero sperm count. It usually takes several months to have a zero sperm count after a vasectomy.

While a vasectomy should be seen as permanent, doctors can reverse the procedure and fertility may return.

What is a vasectomy reversal?

A vasectomy reversal is surgery to reconnect tubes cut during a vasectomy done for men who’ve had a vasectomy but want to be fertile. When the surgery is successful, sperm are in the semen again. After a vasectomy reversal, the chance of making a woman pregnant depends on how much time has passed since the vasectomy was done as well as other factors.

Advances in microsurgical vasectomy reversal

With a vasectomy reversal, the surgeon uses a special microscope to reconnect the tubes. Vasectomy reversals are done as an outpatient procedure. The patient goes home the same day. The surgery usually takes from two to four hours. Patients should expect some mild to medium pain after the surgery.

Talk to your doctor, if you are thinking about having a vasectomy reversal. The risks of a vasectomy reversal can include:

  • Infection
  • Fluid buildup in the scrotum that will need to be drained
  • Injury to nerves or arteries in the scrotum.