The Vasectomy Reversal Operation

The vasectomy reversal operation is undertaken at the BMI Park Hospital Arnold, Nottingham by Duncan Harriss DM FRCS (Urol). Mr Harriss does not work with anyone else so performs all the operations himself.  All vasectomy reversal operations are performed using a powerful microscope so are microsurgical vasectomy reversals.

The BMI Park Hospital Arnold, Nottingham is a fully functioning private hospital with 2 wards, a large outpatients department, an intensive care unit, 4 operating theatres and other departments found in major hospitals. The staff have worked with Mr Harriss for many years now and so are very experienced to provide you with the care that you need.

What is A Vasectomy Reversal?

A Vasectomy Reversal is a surgical procedure with the aim of restoring your fertility after you have had a vasectomy.

The vasectomy reversal operation rejoins together each of the vas deferens tubes.

The procedure is painless and takes place under a general anaesthetic to enable your body to be absolutely still. It takes 1 – 2 hours and involves very delicate surgery. The huge benefits of having a general anaesthetic are that Mr Harriss can always complete the vasectomy reversal when the anatomy proves the operation to be technically difficult (under a local anaesthetic in other clinics the operation is often abandoned) and secondly, you are given very powerful painkillers to reduce the pain experienced post-op – also not possible under a local anaesthetic.

Who Can Have A Vasectomy Reversal?

Here at Duncan Harriss’s Nottingham Vasectomy Reversal Clinic, age is not a barrier. Any man who is considering having further children despite their vasectomy is eligible. Most men who are considering a vasectomy reversal are in a new relationship. Some men feel unhappy with their original vasectomy or have discomfort associated with that operation and want to return to “normal”.

The Two types of microsurgical Vasectomy Reversal Operation

  • the vaso-vasostomy
  • the vaso-epididymostomy.


The vasa deferentia are muscular tubes that feel like a “rat’s tail”. The internal openings are very small and are best seen using a microscope. This allows the surgeon to join the tubes together very accurately using the finest stitches and gives the best possible results

Mr Harriss makes a single cut in the centre of the scrotum to reduce the amount of trauma in this delicate area. This reduces the risk of infection and bruising. Occasionally, two incisions are required. The ends of the vasa deferentia are located and carefully pulled through the incision. Any blockages are removed and this is confirmed using special tests. On a few occasions the blockage is permanent on one side and so only the vas deferens on the other side can be rejoined. However, this should not limit your partner becoming pregnant.

Using the magnified view of the microscope, it is then possible to make a water-tight join. The rejoined vasa deferentia are then replaced and the external cut is sewn together with dissolvable stitches and glue.

The wound should be healed in 10 days.


Using a similar method of entering the scrotum, and after a careful and thorough internal examination, Mr Harriss then joins the vas to the epididymus using the magnified view of the microscope when there is evidence of an obstruction in the epididymus. This operation is not required to be performed as frequently as the vasovasostomy.  It is performed more commonly in re-do vasectomy reversals. It is a far more complex procedure and requires a high degree of experience and skill.

It is not possible to identify which method is required pre-operatively. Mr Harriss’s skill at performing this operation is extensive with proven positive results.

 Mr Harriss’s Technique

There are many different methods of vasectomy reversal discussed on the internet and many of them say that their method is the more superior. Mr Harriss has his own method of performing microsurgical vasectomy reversals of which Mr Harriss’s results speak for themselves. High success rates, many pregnancies and some second pregnancies too.

Using tiny sutures, similar to those used by cardiac surgeons, and with the help of the high powered microscope. Mr Harriss rejoins the vas deferens. The vas tube does vary in size from person to person and it also varies in its configuration. The number of sutures is dictated by the size of the tubes.

It is Mr Harriss’s opinion that it is not necessarily the method by which the vas derefens are rejoined, but it is all in the skill of the surgeon. Mr Harriss is highly skilled at dissection so that the blood supply is preserved, vital for good healing and reduction of post-operative problems and long term effects such as stricturing.

Mr Harriss has performed re-do reversals on patients who original surgeons were known to use different methods of vasectomy reversal and has achieved successful outcomes for those patients.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

1. Yes, all vasectomy reversals are performed by Mr Harriss himself and are microsurgical vasectomy reversals.

2. Yes, Mr Harriss can perform vaso-vasostomy and vaso-epididymostomy and uses either method as appropriate.

3. Yes, Mr Harriss often sees men on the day they attend for their procedure as he offers a consultation and the vasectomy reversal on the same day.

4. Mr Harriss has never not been able to perform a vasectomy reversal due to how the orignal vasectomy was performed. He does not choose people to improve his results.

5. The results obtained are testiment to Mr Harriss’s technique.

Blowouts, vasitis nodosa, and sperm granulomas.

Often a reason cited for either not performing a vasectomy reversal, not completing a vasectomy reversal or an “open and close” operation where incisions are made and no vasectomy reversal is performed.

Mr Harriss is aware that none of these conditions can be diagnosed by physical examination prior to the vasectomy reversal but they have never stopped him from performing successful vasectomy reversals.

In fact, Mr Harriss would go as far to state that in he does not recognize “blow-out” as a medical term.

General Anaesthetic

Mr Harriss will only perform a microsurgical vasectomy reversal using a general anaesthetic. In Mr Harriss’s opinion, the only reason that  a local anaesthetic and/or sedation are used is when the vasectomy reversal is carried out in a clinic or GP surgery where there is not a general anaesthetic license rather than a fully operational hospital such as the BMI The Park Hospital.

 Does A Vasectomy Reversal Work?

Vasectomy Reversal operations are more successful the sooner that they are done after the original vasectomy.

With microscope techniques up to 90% of men will achieve a positive sperm count after a reversal of vasectomy. It is important to understand that pregnancy is not guaranteed. If sperm are found then this does not mean that your partner will definitely get pregnant.

Other factors which can affect the success of a reversal of vasectomy:

  • the time that has passed since your vasectomy
  • the age of your partner
  • technical factors due to your previous vasectomy
  • a problem with another part of the reproductive system
  • the presence of antibodies.

Worried abut the general anaesthetic, read our Anaesthetics page next and see how easy others found it…