The biopsy is most often ordered in the case of patients diagnosed with the absence of sperm cells in the semen (azoospermia). The biopsy involves collecting a testicular or an epididymal tissue specimen. Sperm cells are obtained from the collected tissue, which will be used for in vitro fertilization or insemination.
What is this test like?
Before the testicular biopsy, the physician collects a detailed medical history and decides on the form of the procedure.
- A needle biopsy (a closed one) - the procedure is performed under local anaesthesia, when the chance of sperm cells collection is very high. The closed biopsy is performed by piercing through the skin of the testicle with a needle. It lasts for approximately 15 – 30 minutes. The patient reports to the clinic about 15 minutes before the scheduled procedure time. This procedure does not require any special preparation.
- An open biopsy - the procedure performed under general anaesthesia. The procedure involves a precise incision of the testicular sheath and collecting specimens from the epididymis and various regions of the testis to increase the chance of finding sperm cells that will be used in the in vitro procedure. The patient reports to the clinic about 1 hour before procedure for a consultation with an anaesthesiologist. The procedure takes a few dozen minutes. After a week from the procedure, the patient is asked to visit the clinic for a check-up.