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Sperm Retrieval More Costly During Vasectomy Reversal

More cost effective to harvest sperm later from men who remain azoospermic

FRIDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Sperm retrieval and cryopreservation is not cost-effective when conducted during surgery to reverse a vasectomy, according to a report in the April issue of Fertility and Sterility. Instead, it is more cost effective to harvest sperm at the time of in vitro fertilization from patients who are still azoospermic after the reversal procedure, the authors say.

Jonathan P. Jarow, M.D., from the James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute in Baltimore, and colleagues conducted a multicenter study of patients undergoing vasectomy reversal to determine whether sperm retrieval and cryopreservation was cost effective. Procedure costs for each of five centers were collated and median costs were determined.

Median cost of testicular sperm extraction/cryopreservation was $1,765 at the time of bilateral vasovasostomy or $1,209 at the time of epididymovasostomy. In contrast, percutaneous sperm aspiration or testicular sperm aspiration for patients with a failed vasectomy reversal was about $725.

"Sperm retrieval with cryopreservation at the time of vasectomy reversal is not cost-effective as compared with elective sperm retrieval at the time of IVF, if required," the authors wrote.

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