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Testicular Biopsy

How It Is Done continued...

A local anesthetic will be injected into the skin of the scrotum to numb (anesthetize) the area. Then a small incision is made through the skin, and a tiny piece of testicular tissue is removed with small scissors. A single stitch is used to close the incision in the testicle, and another stitch is used to close the incision in the skin. (Absorbable sutures are used so the stitches do not need to be removed.) The procedure is usually repeated on the other testicle. The scrotal area is then bandaged. You will be asked to wear an athletic supporter for several days after the procedure to help support the testicles while the incisions heal.

If general anesthesia is used, you will be asleep during the procedure but the same method will be used.

The biopsy usually takes 15 to 20 minutes. You will probably be advised to refrain from sexual activity for 1 to 2 weeks after the biopsy. You should avoid washing the area for several days.

How It Feels

You will feel a brief sting when the IV line is inserted or when the local anesthetic is injected. Other than that, the procedure should be painless.

Your scrotum and testicles may be somewhat sore for 3 to 4 days after the biopsy and some bruising may be present. You may also notice a small amount of bleeding through the bandage, which is normal. Talk to your doctor about how much bleeding to expect.

Risks

There is a slight risk of prolonged bleeding or infection from this procedure. There is no risk of erection problems or infertility as a result of this biopsy. If general anesthesia is used, there is a small risk of complications from anesthesia.

After the biopsy

Call your doctor immediately if you have:

  • Severe pain in your scrotum. Some mild discomfort is normal.
  • Severe swelling of your scrotum. Some mild swelling is normal.
  • A fever higher than 100°F (38°C).
  • Excessive bleeding through the bandage.

Results

A testicular biopsy is a test in which a small sample of tissue is taken from one or both testicles and examined under a microscope to evaluate a man's ability to father a child. Results are usually available in 2 to 4 days.

A pathologist examines the biopsy sample through a microscope for any abnormalities in sperm production or maturation. If sperm development appears normal yet a semen analysis test shows reduced or absent sperm, a blockage of the tube (vas deferens) from the testes to the urethra is suspected. A blocked vas deferens can sometimes be repaired by surgery.

What Affects the Test

It is important to remain completely still while a biopsy is done under local anesthesia. If this is not possible, general anesthesia may be needed.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: December 28, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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