Without the use of microsurgical techniques, vasectomy reversal is successful in only 40-50% of cases. Success is defined as the presence of sperm in the ejaculate. The use of microsurgical techniques allows for more precise approximation of the ends of the vas deferens and results in higher success rates.
As the Vasectomy Reversal page discusses, the time from the vasectomy does play a role in the overall success of vasectomy reversals. The more years that have passed since the vasectomy was performed the higher the chance that a vasoepididymostomy will need to be performed, thus decreasing the chance of success. However, most patients do not require vasoepididymostomies no matter how long out the vasectomy has been. Vasectomies that are 38 years old have been successfully reversed.
Dr. Schow’s personal statistics for patency rates (defined as more than one million sperm in the ejaculate) after vasectomy reversals based on review of the last 1800 patients are:
97% if Dr Schow performs a bilateral vasovasostomy (no matter how long it has been since your original vasectomy)
95% for all patients including redo procedures and patients up to 38 years from the vasectomy
Of the patients that have provided information regarding pregnancy, 50% of couples achieved a pregnancy within the first year after the reversal, some as soon as one month after the reversal.