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Robotic-assisted vasectomy reversal offers greater chance of fatherhood
Date:5/27/2010

CHICAGO In 1989 a 29-year-old Michael Schrader had it all: steady job, a wife, and two wonderful childrendaughter Courtney and son Cameron. He couldn't envision wanting morethat is, more children. Taking steps to keep his nuclear family intact, he underwent vasectomy a procedure so routine he was back on the golf course the next afternoon. Divorce later frayed this family portrait, but in the years that followed Schrader would ultimately revisit the issue of having children with his soon to be second wife Liz. The couple turned to urological experts at Northwestern Memorial Hospital for counsel on Schrader's vasectomy reversal. That was nearly 10 years ago. This past April, Northwestern Memorial became the first center in the Midwest to perform a pioneering robotic assisted vasectomy reversal using the da Vinci surgical robot. Experts believe this approach is superior to traditional surgery in that it may yield more successful outcomes and reduce couples' wait times for conceiving naturally.

"Many people think getting a vasectomy reversed is just like turning on a faucet that was off," said William Lin, MD, a Northwestern urological surgeon specializing in microsurgery. "But it's not that simple. Reversal is a very delicate procedure that requires ultra precision for it to be successful."

Lin explains this high degree of precision is ideally achieved by using the robot, and it's the primary reason for evaluation of robotic applications for vasectomy reversal. Although the method doesn't cut procedural or recovery times, surgical researchers like Lin are interested in its potential to offer men an earlier return and higher concentration of sperm, which according to him "theoretically increases the likelihood of natural pregnancy."

Schrader says during the initial years after his divorce, he harbored no regrets about his vasectomy. "I didn't think I would get remarried, and I didn't think I would have more children. But then I me
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Contact: Jill McDonnell
jimcdonn@nmh.org
312-926-0735
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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