Surgical Sperm Retrieval

What is Surgical Sperm Retrieval?

Surgical sperm retrieval is a technique for collecting sperm for fertility purposes.

Indications of Surgical Sperm Retrieval

The process is usually indicated for men with:

  • A previous history of vasectomy
  • An absent vas deferens (the tube that drains sperm from the testicle) since birth
  • Testicles that produce a low quantity of sperm that do not reach the vas deferens
  • An obstruction of the reproductive system due to infection, injury or other causes, preventing the release of sperm

Surgical Sperm Retrieval Procedure

Some of the techniques to retrieve sperm from the male reproductive tract include:

  • Percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA): This procedure retrieves sperm from the epididymis, the place where sperm is stored after being formed in the testes. The collection is done with the help of a fine needle.
  • Testicular sperm extraction (TESE): In this procedure, sperm is retrieved from the testicular tissue by making a small incision in the scrotal skin. The procedure is performed as an outpatient procedure under general anaesthesia combined with local anaesthesia.

These procedures may take a few hours at the hospital. The sperm is examined for quality and frozen for storage. It is later thawed and used for fertilisation.

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