Vasectomy reversal is a term used for surgical procedures that reconnect the male reproductive tract after interruption by a vasectomy. Two procedures are possible at the time of vasectomy reversal: vasovasostomy (vas deferens to vas deferens connection) and vasoepididymostomy (epididymis to vas deferens connection). Although vasectomy is considered a permanent form of contraception, advances in microsurgery have improved the success of vasectomy reversal procedures. The procedures remain technically demanding and expensive, and may not restore the pre-vasectomy condition.
Technical advances in vasectomy reversal mirror those in microsurgery over the past 100 years. As a discipline, microsurgery was first performed by Carl Nylen in Sweden for middle ear surgery in 1910, but grew most rapidly as a discipline in the 20th century stimulated by its success in microvascular reconstruction of war-injured soldiers. The first microsurgical vasectomy reversal was performed by Earl Owen in 1971.