A vasectomy reversal is a surgical procedure performed by urologist David Shin, M.D. to reverse a man’s sterility caused by a vasectomy. The goal of this procedure is to restore free flow of sperm into the ejaculate to allow couples to achieve pregnancy. During a vasectomy reversal, Dr. Shin may perform a vasovasostomy, which reconnects the cut ends of the vas deferens, the small tube that carries sperm from the man’s testicles, or he may perform the more technically challenging epididymovasostomy, which reconnects the vas deferens to the epididymis, the ducts closer to the testicle. The choice of the vasovasostomy or epididymovasostomy is determined at the time of surgery and is dependent upon intraoperative findings.
Dr. Shin performs all of his vasectomy reversals under a powerful operating microscope to precisely visualize the procedure under direct magnification 25 times the normal image. The complexity of the procedure requires three to four hours of microsurgery under general anesthesia. Patients generally go home later on the same day as the operation. For the first two to three days after surgery, the patient’s activity level should be light. He should avoid any heavy exercise or straining. Fertility is not restored right away after surgery. It may take up to several months to one year to achieve pregnancy, but about 30 to 76 percent of men will be able to father a child again after a vasectomy reversal.
Dr. Shin is one of only a few select surgeons in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area who is fellowship-trained to perform the microsurgical vasectomy reversal. Only 1 to 2 percent of urologists nationwide hold this distinction in training. At the time of a patient’s initial consultation, Dr. Shin encourages men to bring their partner, a notepad, and all of their questions.