What is a testicular biopsy?
It consists of making a small incision of about one centimetre at the root of the testicular bags to remove a small sample of the testicular tissue. The different layers of the testicles, as well as the skin, are sutured with re-absorbable stitches (that fall by themselves without need to extract them). After surgery, lasting approximately 15 minutes, the patient can go back home (or to his hotel room). The patient might feel some pain after the procedure that will improve by applying ice locally and by taking analgesics.
When is it done?
Testicular biopsy has a diagnostic purpose when it’s performed to appreciate the testicular role regarding spermatozoids production, to evaluate chromosomal alterations affecting precursor germ cells of the spermatozoids or in cases of azoospermia to check for the existence of spermatozoids in the testicle, which will be frozen to use them later on in an IVF with ICSI. Testicular biopsy can also have a therapeutic purpose when performed synchronously with IVF to retrieve the spermatozoids that will fertilize the eggs; in this case the procedure is called TESE (Testicular Sperm Extraction).
What kind of anaesthesia is used?
It’s performed under local anaesthesia.