Testicular sperm extraction
What is testicular sperm extraction?
Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE), also called a testicular biopsy, is a surgical technique that consists of obtaining a sample of testicular tissue through an incision in the scrotum.
How is it carried out?
TESE is an outpatient procedure, i.e. you do not need to be admitted to hospital - you can come in and leave on the same day.
During the intervention, the Andrologist obtains one or more fragments from one or both testicles for laboratory analysis to determine whether or not they contain sperm.
Is this intervention suitable for me?
TESE is indicated in the following situations:
- Cryptorchidism (incomplete descent of one or both testicles through the inguinal canal into the scrotum).
- Azoospermia, situations with no sperm in the ejaculate.
- Aspermia or lack of ejaculation, when it is not possible to obtain a sample of the ejaculated semen by other techniques such as prostate massage, prostate electrostimulation or urine wash in cases of retrograde ejaculation.
- In males who have had a non-reversible vasectomy, or whose sperm cannot be obtained by micro-epididymal sperm aspiration.
How long does it take? Is it painful?
Like any outpatient procedure under local anaesthetic, it is usually quite quick (about 30 minutes), with the patient making a rapid recovery. You may feel localised pain but this can be relieved with painkillers. Otherwise, the main complications are swelling and/or haematoma at the site but these are rare. We recommend having a check-up a week after the intervention.
What are the alternatives to TESE?
When no sperm are detected in the biopsied testicular sample, the alternative is to use sperm from an anonymous donor.