Surgical sperm retrieval
Surgical sperm retrieval is a treatment option for men with an absence or blockage of the tube (vas deferens) or non- obstructive azoospermia.
Sperm can be collected directly from the epididymis situated inside the scrotum (the pouch holding the testicles) where sperm are stored and mature using a fine needle and syringe. This is known as ‘percutaneous epidydimal sperm aspiration’ or PESA. Sperm can also be retrieved from the testicles, a process known as ‘testicular sperm extraction’.
Surgical sperm retrieval is carried out by a Consultant Uroandrologist who works in close association with the fertility unit and the procedure is timed to coincide with the female partner’s egg collection. If enough sperm is retrieved it may be possible to freeze small amounts for use at a later stage. The sperm collected is then used to inject the eggs using ICSI.
TESE: testicular sperm extraction. This involves opening up the scrotum and taking a large volume of testicular tissue, perhaps from several regions of the testicle. Sperm are then retrieved using a microscope to identify individual sperm.
TESA: testicular sperm aspiration. This involves placing a needle attached to a syringe through the skin of the scrotum and simply sucking out the fluid inside the testicle.
MESA: microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration. An open surgical sperm retrieval procedure that uses an operating microscopy to locate the tubules of the epididymis precisely, so that large numbers of sperm can be extracted.