Surgical sperm retrieval is usually performed as a day case. The type of procedure will depend on the medical reason for lack of sperm production.
Some men do not produce sperm in their semen (azoospermia). This could be due to:
- An illness in earlier life (i.e. mumps)
- Having had a vasectomy (male sterilisation)
- An injury to the groin
- A genetic disorder
In some cases we can surgically retrieve sperm.
Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA) - PESA is usually performed under general anaesthetic and takes about 20 minutes. A fine needle is inserted into the epididymis (area that stores maturing sperm) and fluid is removed using mild suction. The fluid is inspected under a microscope to confirm the presence and quality of sperm.
Micro-epididymal Sperm Aspiration (MESA) - MESA is usually performed under general anaesthetic. Instead of a needle a small incision (cut) is made in the scrotum and fluid is removed. The fluid is inspected under a microscope to confirm the presence and quality of sperm. A sample (biopsy) may also be taken and sent to a laboratory to confirm evidence of sperm production.
Success rates with SSR vary according to the procedure used. Please discuss any questions or concerns you might have with your consultant or a fertility nurse.
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