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
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
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.
What To Think About
Testicular cancer is more likely to spread when a testicular biopsy is done. For
this reason, a biopsy usually is not done if testicular cancer is suspected. A
ultrasound is generally done to help diagnose
suspected testicular cancer. To learn more, see the topic
Testicular Ultrasound. When cancer is suspected, an
open surgical procedure (orchiectomy) is done to confirm the diagnosis.
Other Works Consulted
Goldstein M (2012). Surgical management of male infertility. In AJ Wein et al., eds., Campbell-Walsh Urology, 10th ed., vol. 1, pp. 648–987. Philadelphia: Saunders.
Walsh TJ, Smith JF (2013). Male infertility. In JW McAninch, TF Lue, eds., Smith and Tanagho's General Urology, 18th ed., pp. 687–719. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Primary Medical Reviewer
||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
||Christopher G. Wood, MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology
Current as of
||December 28, 2012