Reinforcing vasal suture technique improves sperm concentration and pregnancy rates in men undergoing vasovasostomy for vasectomy reversal

Joshua Savage, Madeleine Manka, Tiffany Rindels, Manaf Alom, Kiran L. Sharma, Landon Trost


Background: Vasovasostomy (VV) is a well-described surgical technique with few notable modifications since microsurgical adaptation in the 1970s. Although contemporary reversal success rates are 70–90%, these most often are based on a lenient definition of >0 sperm (patency) and include only VV procedures. With stricter definitions, success rates drop >30%. To improve outcomes, a novel surgical technique (reinforcing vasal suture, ReVas) was developed, and outcomes were compared prior to and following implementation.
Methods: A prospective registry of sequential patients undergoing vasectomy reversal was queried from Jan 2014 to June 2019. The ReVas technique was implemented in Jan 2018, wherein the abdominal and testicular vasa are secured side-to-side to alleviate strain on the anastomosis. Primary outcomes were changes in sperm concentration: >0/mL, >100,000/mL, >1 million/mL, >5 million/mL, >15 million/mL, and most recent. Secondary outcome was pregnancy rate. Demographic, clinical, and select operative variables were statistically compared between ReVas (+) and (−) cohorts.
Results: A total of 200 men underwent reversal, of whom 169 represented first-time attempts (61 receiving the new technique) and comprise the current cohort. ReVas (+) and (−) cohorts were similar in demographic, clinical, and operative factors with the exception of operative time [longer in ReVas (+) group]. Median duration since vasectomy was 9 years, and 68.6% of men received a bilateral VV. Follow-up was significantly longer in the ReVas (−) arm (37 vs. 10 months). All primary outcomes were significantly higher in the ReVas (+) cohort, with odds ratios ranging from 5.8 to 11.1 (P<0.01 to 0.0001). Pregnancy rates within the first 2 years post reversal were also 8.1× higher in the ReVas (+) group (P=0.02). A subset of men with bilateral VV exhibited a 95% likelihood of achieving >15 million/mL in ReVas (+) men compared to 54% in ReVas (−). Multivariable analysis confirmed ReVas as an independent predictor of success.
Conclusions: Implementation of the ReVas technique resulted in significantly higher sperm concentrations, which were particularly pronounced when stricter success criteria were used. Patients were also 8.1× more likely to achieve a pregnancy within the first 2 years, confirming clinical relevance. External validation is warranted.