Vasectomy reversals

The vasectomy procedure is generally thought of as being permanent, but advances in microsurgery have resulted in the ability to reverse the vasectomy procedure restoring fertility in some cases. It is estimated that about 50,000 vasectomy reversals are performed annually and the number is growing.

The medical terminology for a vasectomy reversal is vasovasostomy. It is the act of reconnecting the vas deferens cut during the vasectomy procedure which then reopens the vas channel for sperm to move through during ejaculation.

The likelihood of success is dependent on a variety of factors such as; the way the original vasectomy was performed, the length of time between the vasectomy procedure and the reversal procedure, the age and health of the patient. It can take 3 to 6 months for live sperm to be found following a reversal procedure and the presence of live sperm does not necessarily guarantee pregnancy. Pregnancy rates vary from 30-70% even though the ability to find live sperm following a reversal procedure can be as high as 95%.

The vasovasostomy procedure is considered relatively safe, but is more complicated and delicate that the vasectomy procedure. It is performed in an outpatient setting such as an ambulatory surgery center or outpatient hospital setting and does not require an overnight stay.

The procedure is performed by an urologist using magnification. The procedure can take several hours. The vas deferens, which are being reconnected are about the size of thick spaghetti. The inner channel is about one third of a millimeter in diameter and must be precisely aligned. The suture material used is almost invisible. Because of the delicate skill required, the time involved, and other factors the total cost of a vasectomy reversal can be high and is not generally covered by insurance.

Dr. Downey performs vasectomy reversals. You will be asked to make a consult appointment. At this appointment Dr. Downey will go over the procedure, do an exam, do the required “pre-op” ancillary testing and the surgical consent if the surgery is to be scheduled within 30 days. If the surgery will be scheduled farther out, then a second appointment will be required since the surgery location requires certain pre-operative laboratory testing within a short period of the surgical procedure. A semen sample should be checked 90-180 days following surgery. This can be done at Urology Northwest, but a qualitative test, which shows the viability of the sperm is best and can only be performed at a hospital lab or fertility clinic lab. Orders can be written and sent to an outside lab for you.

Recovery time

The recovery time will vary depending on the individual but the patient should expect to be off work 3-5 days if they have a desk or sedentary job up to 14 days if they have a job requiring moderate to frequent physical activity. No heavy lifting or sexual intercourse for 4-6 weeks.


The following payments will be due at check in on the date of your consultation:

  • Consult appointment: $300.00

The following payments will be due at check in on the date of your pre-operative appointment:

  • Pre-operative appointment: The cost for your pre-operative appointment is bundled into the surgery (except when surgery is cancelled).
  • Surgery Cost: This includes charges for the provider and the facility if performed at Urology Northwest Surgery Center.
  • Anesthesia Cost: Prices determined by the anesthesiologist. Payment for Anesthesia will need to be in the form of a check or money order made payable to Pacific Anesthesia, as we do not handle their billing.

*Please contact the office for costs. If payments are not received in full on the dates listed above, then your appointment/s will be cancelled and rescheduled for another time when payment can be made.

Cancellation Policy

Because of the amount of time we have reserved for your surgery, we require at least 48 hours notice of cancellation to consider a refund. We will deduct fees for the pre-operative appointment and any necessary lab charges from your visit. The remaining balance will be refunded back to you.

Success rate

Dr. Downey has been performing the vasovasostomy for 18 years. His live sperm success rate is 100%.

To schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Downey call 425-275-5555.