We have previously shown that the human vas deferens does not change in cross-sectional size between birth and the middle of puberty. This suggests that if the human vas is injured prior to mid-puberty, repair by a traditional microsurgical vasovasostomy may be technically difficult. We propose that a chromic stent can be used to assist in the repair of vas injured before mid-puberty. This hypothesis was tested in Sprague-Dawley rats. At three weeks of age, male offspring were divided into three groups (eight to nine rats/group): 1) Sham group - a sham operation at three weeks, 2) VV group - bilateral transection of vasa at three weeks followed by a delayed repair at eight weeks by microsurgical vasovasostomy without a stent, 3) Stent group - bilateral transection of vasa at three weeks followed by immediate repair by aligning the lumens with a 6-0 chromic intravasal stent (suture) and holding the transected ends together with several seromuscular sutures. At four months all rats were fertility tested and a score was given to each rat (mean number of concepti among three females for each male rat). Analysis of anastomotic patency by flow rates and histology was performed. There was no statistical difference in the mean fertility score of 6.85 in the Stent group compared to 7.83 in the Sham group. However, a fertility score of 0.71 in the VV group was significantly decreased compared to the Stent and Sham group (p = .0003), despite no statistical difference between the groups in patency. This suggests that a recognized injury to the pre-pubertal human vas should be immediately repaired and the repair can be done using 6-0 chromic suture as an intravasal stent to help align the lumina of the smaller pre-pubertal vas.
- Vas deferens