The cost of vasectomy reversal varies depending on the physician's office, your geographic location, and the type of procedure performed. It is not inexpensive, but there are a few options that may help you fit it into your family budget.
Most insurance plans won't cover the cost of reversal surgery, which can range anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000. (However, now that success rates have increased, some insurers are reconsidering this policy so be sure to check with your provider.) For now, reversal is usually an elective, fee-for-service procedure and it is still less expensive than many of the alternatives.
Delicate, Precision Microsurgery
Vasectomy reversal can provide a good first option for a couple seeking to have children. It is less expensive than assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs), is potentially more effective, and provides a more natural method for conception.
Factors that play into the cost of a vasectomy reversal include the complexity and time it takes to perform microsurgery, the use of general anesthesia (and the services of an anesthesiologist), as well as post-operative care and testing.
Comparing Your Options
When comparing assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) to vasectomy reversals, take some time to do the math when considering costs, the amount of time required to complete the procedures, and success rates. Vasectomy reversal has a higher initial success rate than ARTs and does not usually require multiple procedures.
Research indicates that of all of the ART procedures performed in 2009, 30 percent resulted in a live birth, compared to 40 to 75 percent with vasectomy reversals. Plus, overall costs for ARTs are higher than for vasectomy reversals. (The average cost for in vitro fertilization is $12,500 per attempt. With a 30 percent success rate, more than one course of IVF may be necessary for successful conception).
But although ARTs are more time consuming and expensive, some (if not most) of the cost may be covered by insurance, while most insurance plans do not cover vasectomy reversal.
There are ways to help make a vasectomy reversal more affordable:
Insurance: It is unlikely that vasectomy reversal surgery will be covered by your health insurance, but be sure to check. At the very least, the company may cover tests related to the procedure.
Cash: Making your payment in cash may be the next best option. By creating a special savings program in your household budget, you can accumulate the total amount necessary. Some surgeons may give a discount to patients paying cash in advance.
Credit Cards: Most medical offices accept major credit cards. This can make payment over time more convenient, but it will also incur an interest or finance charge by the credit card company.
Medical financing services: Some physicians work with lending agencies that specialize in financing for non-insured medical services. Interest rates and terms of payment are determined by the lending agency.
Asch, A., & Marmor, R. (2008). From birth to death and bench to clinic: The Hastings Center bioethics briefing book for journalists, policymakers, and campaigns. Assisted reproduction. Chpt 2. (pp. 5-10). Garrison, NY: The Hastings Center.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology. 2009 Assisted reproductive technology success rates: National summary and fertility clinic reports. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2011.