Reversing a Reversible Vasectomy?
October 6, 2004 9:39 AM   Subscribe

Ever get a "reversible" vasectomy, um, reversed? [all tucked inside]

That old, "oh, in a year or two" is finally catching up, as I looked at the calendar last week and realized that I'm going to be 34 in January. CRAP, I FORGOT TO HAVE A BABY.

Der Herr has a reversible silk thread something something sciencey word.

Insurance covers vasectomies and assisted technologies, but not reversals. The information I've found Googlng is regarding a different and trickier (and really bloody expensive - $5 - $12K!! OMFG ) procedure.

Today's to-do list includes: Stalk husband into calling urologist.

Has anyone else been in this boat? Costs? Time to successful conception? I'm freakin' out. I know this is waaaay to much information BUT IT IS TOTALLY NOT FOR ME IT IS FOR A FRIEND, OK?
posted by mimi to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
I'd suggest a divorce lawyer instead.

wtf is wrong with getting a cat or a ficus tree? This sounds like one unilateral decision against another.
posted by pieoverdone at 10:19 AM on October 6, 2004

WTF, yourself, PieOD! We both want kids, this was discussed loooong ago and since; we're on the same page with this. I'm asking -- I mean, MY FRIEND (and her husband) are asking -- about the realities, economics and science of the situaton. Cat and plant (and fish) populations are just fine at their current levels.
posted by mimi at 10:32 AM on October 6, 2004

Is he sure he's shooting blanks? Some men (ones I know) shot blanks then their body reversed itself over a long period of time. You might get that checked out first, though I'm sure a prelim at the urologist would test for this.
posted by geoff. at 10:47 AM on October 6, 2004

I looked into this a few years ago for a friend. As I recall it, the success rates with microsurgery were about 50% ("success" being defined as pregnancy within a year, and the success rate's a bit higher for pregnancy within two years, the number of men who start showing sperm in the semen is much higher than that, which always makes me wonder if you couldn't collect it and concentrate it somehow), with better results for newer vasectomies and worse for older ones. They can do IVF even if you don't get the vasectomy reversed, and this might be something to look into before you decide, since the success rates with IVF might be higher (depending on how old the vasectomy is and that sort of thing), and the costs are probably pretty comparable (for one round of IVF anyway). I suspect if you go to one of those clinics which specialize in reversals you might have a better chance of success - most of them are on the Intarweb, if you Google for "vasectomy reversal". Good luck!
posted by biscotti at 10:58 AM on October 6, 2004

Thanks, biscotti. Most everything I found Googling had to do with that kind of microsurgery -- where they're stitching together the two snipped ends resulting from the "permanent" vasectomies (ow...). That was also the super-expensive procedure. If that kind is ~50%/1year, maybe I shouldn't worry.. fwiw this one is about five years old, tops.

Part of the reason I'm asking (OH RIGHT, I MEAN MY FRIEND IS) is that I know that it takes about two months to even get in to talk to a doctor around here.
posted by mimi at 11:07 AM on October 6, 2004

I had a non-reversable vasectomy reversed after 11 years. It cost $7K, but we now have a beautiful, priceless 17 month old daughter. The chances were pretty low after that long a time. What often happens is that the sperm turn into paste in the vas and epididmus. It took a superb mirosurgeon/urologist, Dr. James Palleschi (practices in Santa Rosa, CA). Microsurgical techniques on this are getting better all the time, but you really want a super- specialist like Palleschi. Good luck.
On preview: IVF can be very expensive too. We looked into that option. It would have involved harvesting some sperm from inside the epididimus or even in the testicle, and then all the work on the woman as well. We opted for the reversal, and it turned out to be the most cost-effective choice.
posted by gnz2001 at 11:13 AM on October 6, 2004

WTF, yourself, PieOD!

posted by matteo at 12:49 PM on October 6, 2004

thanks to zsazsa
posted by matteo at 12:50 PM on October 6, 2004

gmz2001, congratuations~! Thanks for the information. The V in question is only about five years old (ugh, paste?). Well, I'll just have to wait until himself can get to the doc...
posted by mimi at 5:42 AM on October 7, 2004

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