Author(s): Pasqualotto FF, Agarwal A, Srivastava M, Nelson DR, Thomas AJ Jr, Pasqualotto FF, Agarwal A, Srivastava M, Nelson DR, Thomas AJ Jr
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Abstract PURPOSE: Historically, epididymal obstruction has been treated with surgical reconstruction. We determine whether it is worthwhile for patients to undergo repeat surgical reconstruction after failed vasoepididymostomy or whether they should be advised only to undergo sperm acquisition for assisted reproductive technique. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 18 patients underwent repeat vasoepididymostomy performed by a single urologist (A. J. T.). Cases were divided based on the etiology of obstruction into groups 1--prior vasectomy (4), 2--congenital (7) and 3--inflammatory (7). Data were available regarding time of obstruction between initial and repeat vasoepididymostomy, quality of epididymal fluid, levels of anastomoses, semen analyses at least 12 months after surgery for all 18 men and pregnancy rates based on more than 18 months of followup in 12. RESULTS: Mean patient age at repeat vasoepididymostomy was 40.6 years (50.5, 36 and 39.4 years for groups 1, 2 and 3, respectively). Mean interval between vasectomy and initial vasoepididymostomy was 12.3 years (range 10 to 18). Mean interval between initial and repeat vasoepididymostomy was 19 months (range 12 to 41). Of the patients 10 underwent unilateral and 8 bilateral anastomoses, for a total of 26 repeat anastomoses. Overall patency rate was 66.7\% (12 of 18) with sperm in the ejaculate in 75, 85 and 43\% of patients in groups 1, 2 and 3, respectively. The patency rates according to the levels of the anastomosis were 66.7, 62.5 and 100\% in the caput, corpus and cauda, respectively. Natural conception occurred in 3 of 12 couples (25\%, 2 caput and 1 caudal anastomosis) during a mean followup of 23 months (range 13 to 34). All 3 cases had congenital obstruction. Pregnancy was achieved in 2 group 1 cases with cryopreserved sperm extracted at repeat vasoepididymostomy, and in 1 case each in groups 1 and 2 with microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration and intracytoplasmic sperm injection. CONCLUSIONS: After repeat vasoepididymostomy two-thirds of men have sperm in the semen. Natural conception occurred in 25\% of patients (3 of 12) followed for more than 18 months. Inability to establish pregnancy in the remaining 7 of 9 patients with sperm in the semen with a followup longer than 18 months may be due to epididymal dysfunction or partial obstruction and subsequent poor sperm quality. Aspiration of motile sperm and cryopreservation were possible in 11 of 18 cases at repeat vasoepididymostomy and should be recommended in case azoospermia remains or occurs after surgery. It appears worthwhile to offer patients repeat vasoepididymostomy after a failed initial procedure.
This article was published in J Urol
and referenced in Journal of Aging Science