This procedure known as Testicular Sperm Aspiration, or TESA. It is most commonly used in cases of non-obstructive azoospermia (total or near-total absence of sperm in the ejaculate). This technique involves the collection of sperm directly from the testis via a testicular puncture. A mild degree of sedation for the patient might be required, usually done as general anesthesia.
A special needle, which allows the recovery of several samples of sperm from different locations of testes, is used. During the procedure, sperm samples are collected and extracted via the needle in a procedure known as testicular puncture. The possibility of recovering sperm is almost 100% in cases of simple blockage. However, in cases of abnormalities of the testes, the average recovery rate can drop to 50% - 60%.
After the extraction, the sperm samples then are sent to the lab for an examination in order to obtain a proper diagnosis and also rule out the risk of testicular cancer. In the most common cases, the patients are informed whether any sperm has been found on the same day. However, in more difficult cases, a two to three day tissue incubation period can be required.
After one procedure, there is generally enough sperm to perform several IVF or ICSI cycles. After the procedure, the additional, unused sperm can be frozen for future use in our Fertility Center. However, there is no complete guarantee that TESA procedure will find sperm in the aspirated sample. It is crucial to understand that even when the pre-operative and pre-procedure tests seem positive, the chance of finding sperm is not always foolproof.