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Surgery for men

Surgery may be an option for men who want to reverse a vasectomy or who cannot produce sperm naturally.

The HFEA does not regulate any type of surgery.

Is surgery for me?

Your clinic may recommend surgery if:

  • a very large collection of varicose veins around the vas warrant removal or tying off
  • a testicular biopsy is advised to investigate a confirmed zero sperm count
  • you have had a vasectomy and want to reverse the procedure
  • you have had a failed vasectomy reversal
  • you do not ejaculate sperm but there is evidence of a low level of sperm production within the testicles.

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Surgery for men - common surgical procedures

There are a number of types of surgery that are fairly common procedures for treating various male fertility problems.

Read our list of these procedures and see what each involves:

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What is my chance of having a baby with surgery?

Factors that may affect your chances of success with vasectomy reversal include:

  • if you have waited more than 10 years between vasectomy and reversal, your chances of success are likely to be reduced
  • if too much of the vas deferens was removed during the vasectomy
  • if you test positive for high levels of anti-sperm antibodies
  • your partner’s fertility.

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What are the risks of surgery?

The usual risks that follow any type of surgery apply and if anaesthesia is also involved, the normal risks for this apply too.

There are some particular risks to reversal operations and to a lesser degree to the other operative procedures mentioned, which are essentially linked to the excellent blood and nerve supply of this part of the body:

  • bleeding leading to the formation of a blood collection or haematoma in the scrotum.
  • The formation of a collection of fluid known as a hydrocele.
  • Damage to the artery to the testicle leading to shrinkage (atrophy) and loss of function of the testicle.
  • Long term pain due to nerves being trapped in scar tissue at the operation site.

Make sure you understand the risks involved in your particular case and discuss them with your clinician before proceeding.

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Page last updated: 29 September 2011

Who offers surgery?

To find HFEA-licensed clinics that offer surgery, Visit Choose a Fertility Clinic and look at any clinic's treatment and services page.