A Food and Drug Administration approved protocol using a microsurgical carbon dioxide laser to assist in vasectomy reversal was instituted in January 1987. Between January 1987 and December 1988 the procedure was performed on 32 patients, 31 of whom submitted sperm and were available to evaluate. Success rates for sperm in the ejaculate in patients who underwent vasectomy less than 10 years previously were excellent, approaching 95%. The pregnancy rate in this group was 35%. In patients whose vasectomy was performed more than 10 years before reversal the results were much poorer. The success rate for sperm in the ejaculate was only 36% and the pregnancy rate was only 9%. The advantage of laser-assisted vasectomy reversal is that it is a simpler technical procedure that requires considerably less time than a 2-layer microsurgical technique. There were no significant complications, sperm granuloma, or even significant swelling or hematoma in any patient operated upon. Laser-assisted vasectomy reversal is at least equal to conventional microsurgical techniques and definitely easier to perform surgically.
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