The absence of sperm in the ejaculate after vasectomy reversal is commonly caused by failure to recognize and subsequently bypass epididymal or proximal vasal obstruction at the time of vasectomy reversal. If intra-operative proximal obstruction is suspected, vasoepididymostomy (VE) is recommended rather than vasovasostomy (VV). We sought to calculate the associated risk of needing VE, rather than VV with time from original vasectomy (obstructive interval) using a large cohort of vasectomy reversal patients. We reviewed the electronic and paper vasectomy reversal database by a single surgeon from 1978 through 2012. We performed univariate analysis to identify variables that predicted the need for VE rather than VV, and then combined only significant univariates into our multi-variable analysis. 2697 total men underwent vasectomy reversal, and 239 were repeat procedures. Of the 5296 individual testes operated on, 1029 were VE. Significant variables that predicted the need for VE on univariate analysis included: age, obstructive time interval, vasectomy reversal after previous VV (repeat vasectomy reversal), and year the procedure was performed. On multi-variable analysis significant risk factors for VE were age above 50 (OR 1.36), repeat vasectomy reversal (OR 5.78), and greater obstructive time interval (OR 1.56). For every 3 years since original vasectomy, the risk of needing VE increases by 56%. There is a linear relationship between obstructive interval and need for VE. Men undergoing repeat vasectomy reversal have five times greater risk of requiring VE and men greater than 50 years of age are also at higher risk. Using these pre-operative predictors is helpful in identifying patients who will benefit from referral to an experienced surgeon who can perform VE.
- Surgical intervention
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Reproductive Medicine