Every year in the US, approximately 500,000 men undergo a vasectomy, and 3-6% of these men ultimately elect to have the vasectomy reversed. Fortunately, success rates for vasectomy reversal when using an operative microscope can exceed 95%. However, despite a successful operation, a small number of men can have persistently low sperm counts as a result of scarring or inflammation. The ideal management of these individuals can be challenging; in some patients, redoing the operation can be successful, but having to undergo another surgery is far from ideal.
Dr Luke Machen authored a research paper on this topic which was recently published. In the study, men with suspected scarring after their vasectomy reversals were given prednisone, a potent anti-inflammatory steroid. After a one month course of the prednisone, patients’ motile sperm counts increased by over 10 million. Additionally, a short course of prednisone was found to be safe with only 1 patient developing lethargy, which improved with another short course of prednisone.