Reversal of Vasectomy

Discharge information for patients

A vasectomy is an operation that is performed to sterilise the male and usually considered irreversible. Reversal of this procedure therefore is very difficult. The chances of success decrease as the man gets older and the length of time between the original vasectomy and the attempted reversal gets longer. Overall, the operation is successful in restoring sperm to the semen in about 50% of men. However, not all of these 50% will be able to achieve a pregnancy in their female partner. A sperm count at about 3 months after the operation will determine whether the operation has been successful or not.

The operation: This involves making two small incisions in the scrotum. The tube coming from each testicle (of which there are two) which usually carry the sperm are then located and carefully rejoined. The cuts in the scrotum will then be sealed using one or two stitches which dissolve over 2-3 weeks.

You will be admitted and discharged on the same day as your operation. When you have had a general anaesthetic or sedation it is important that you do not drive a car, drink alcohol or handle machinery for 24 hours post-op. You should therefore arrange for someone to collect you from hospital.

Discomfort at the wound site may be eased by prescribed/ recommended painkillers. Wearing supportive underpants and loose trousers may aid your comfort. You may have a small amount of swelling following the operation, even slight bruising of your scrotum, so rest as much as possible for a few days. If you are sent home with antibiotics take the whole course given as instructed.

About 24 hours after surgery you may bath or shower. Dry yourself carefully afterwards.You may have oozing from the wound site(s) for a few days. However, if:
  • the ooze from the wound changes to a yellow/green colour with or without an offensive smell; and/or
  • the wound site becomes very red and sore; and/or
  • scrotal swelling or pain is severe;
  • with no improvement over 48 hours, or you are concerned, please contact either your GP surgery.

You may return to work when you can cope with the activities that your job entails. Avoid sex until the wound(s) is healed and you are pain free.