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What is a TESE biopsy?

A TESE biopsy (Testicular Sperm Extraction) is a medical procedure used to obtain sperm directly from the tissue of the testis. This procedure is particularly useful for men who have no sperm in their ejaculate (azoospermia), either due to a blockage in the reproductive tract or due to problems with sperm production. TESE is often used in conjunction with assisted reproduction techniques, such as IVF (in vitro fertilization), to enable fertilization of an egg with sperm obtained from the testis.

Preparation for TESE Biopsy

Preparation for a TESE biopsy includes a thorough evaluation of the patient’s health and reproductive function. This may involve detailed hormone analyses, genetic testing, and ultrasound of the testes to assess the structure and function of the testes. Patients are usually advised to abstain from certain medications that could affect the procedure or the quality of the sperm. Additionally, the patient should inform the doctor about all medications they are taking. Prior to the procedure, the patient may be given local anesthesia or mild sedation, depending on the specifics of the case and the patient’s comfort.

Biopsy Process

The TESE biopsy is usually performed on an outpatient basis, under local anesthesia or short-term general anesthesia. The surgeon makes a small incision in the testis to access the testicular tissue from which samples are taken. The samples are then examined under a microscope in the laboratory to identify and isolate live sperm. If no sperm are found in the first sample, additional tissue may be taken. The entire procedure usually lasts between 30 minutes and one hour.


After a TESE biopsy, patients may experience mild discomfort or swelling at the incision site, which can usually be controlled with pain medications prescribed by the doctor. Rest is recommended for a few days and heavy physical activity should be avoided. Most patients return to normal activities within a few days. It is important to follow the doctor’s instructions for wound care to minimize the risk of infection and ensure proper recovery. Regular follow-up visits to the doctor are necessary to ensure that the biopsy site is healing properly and that there are no complications.