Surgical sperm retrieval

Surgical sperm retrieval can be used to extract sperm from the testes for use in IVF and/or ICSI.

It is only necessary when a man is unable to produce sperm in his ejaculate, has had a failed vasectomy reversal or has absent vas deferens - the duct that carries the sperm from the epididymis to the penis.

Sperm can be surgically recovered in two ways. Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA) involves a needle being inserted into the epididymis and sperm is withdrawn. However, if sperm cannot be found in the epididymis, Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TESA) is used.

This involves extracting sperm from testicular tissue by inserting the needle directly into the testis. Following these procedures patients may experience discomfort or pain and may have some localised swelling. However, patients who undergo PESA typically may return to work the following day.