All in the family

You thought your family was complete, so you had a vasectomy — but circumstances changed, and now you and your partner would like another baby.  Washington University male infertility specialist, Dane Johnson, MD, is uniquely trained to perform vasectomy reversals in order to give couples a chance at expanding their family.

Dr. Johnson explains, “A vasectomy reversal is relatively complex, and there are many factors that affect a couple’s chances of getting pregnant after the procedure. The number one factor is whether we can reestablish a connection between the testicles and the ejaculate. Another factor is the amount of time since the vasectomy was performed.

 If we are successful in reestablishing this vas deferens reconnection, there is a 90-95% chance of sperm getting back into the ejaculate. And pregnancy rates can be as high as 50%, depending on the couple.

However, sometimes during surgery I may find a secondary obstruction blocking the sperm. This could be the result of scarring along the outlet from the testicle from the vasectomy. When this is the case, I would perform a more complex procedure that not every vasectomy reversal specialist is trained to do — called vasoepididymostomy. This offers the chance of a successful reversal, despite the secondary obstruction. The success rates of getting sperm back into the ejaculate after this operation are 60-65%.”

Another option for men who may not want a vasectomy reversal is a testicular biopsy.  In this procedure, the surgeon goes directly to the source (testicles) to retrieve sperm. It is a little more complex than the vasectomy because the sperm retrieved can only be used for in vitro fertilization (IVF). So not only does the man have to undergo a procedure, but his wife or partner also needs to see a doctor to pursue the IVF.

Dr. Johnson adds, “We also offer the testicular biopsy to men who have not had a vasectomy, but who have had trouble conceiving with their partner — and testing shows there is zero or low sperm count. This procedure offers them a chance of getting pregnant.”

To make an appointment with Dr. Johnson, please call 314-286-2400.

4444 Forest Park Avenue Building
4444 Forest Park Avenue, Suite 3100
St. Louis, MO 63108

Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital
Medical Building One, Suite 122
1040 N. Mason Road
Creve Coeur, MO 63141

VA Medical Center
John Cochran Division
915 North Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63106