There are two types of vasectomy reversals: vasovasostomy and vasoepididymostomy.
A vasovasostomy is usually the surgery of choice for vasectomy reversal. It involves stitching the cut ends of the vas deferens back together under microscopic control.
A vasoepididymostomy is performed less frequently and is a more complicated procedure requiring more expertise at microsurgery. It is performed in situations where sperm is blocked from getting to the vas deferens because of excessive inflammation or scarring in the epididymis, a tubular structure located behind the testis. The vasoepididymostomy connects the vas deferens directly to the epididymis.
Vasovasostomies usually takes between two to four hours to complete. A vasoepididymostomy can add another one to two hours to the procedure.
Vasectomy reversal recovery is typically rapid. Light duty work and refraining from heavy exercise and sex is recommended for the first two to three weeks.
Possible risks or complications include postoperative pain, infection, swelling, tenderness, bruising and internal bleeding. There is also a chance of failure, in that the reconnection of the vas deferens may not take place.
Studies of vasectomy reversal results show the return of sperm to the ejaculate in 70 to more than 90 percent of men, with increased chances if the reversal is done within the first two to three years after the vasectomy.
After vasectomy reversal the overall chance of pregnancy ranges from 30 to 70 percent depending on the time since vasectomy.