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Testicular Ultrasound

A testicular ultrasound (sonogram) is a test that uses reflected sound waves to show a picture of the testicles and scrotum camera.gif. The test can show the long, tightly coiled tube that lies behind each testicle and collects sperm (epididymis). And it can show the tube (vas deferens) that connects the testicles to the prostate gland. The ultrasound does not use X-rays or other types of radiation.

A small handheld device called a transducer is passed back and forth over the scrotum. The device sends the sound waves to the computer, which turns them into a picture. This picture is shown on a video screen. The picture produced by ultrasound is called a sonogram, echogram, or scan. Pictures or videos of the ultrasound images may be saved.

Why It Is Done

Testicular ultrasound is done to:

  • Check a mass or pain in the testicles.
  • Find or check on an infection or swelling of the testicles or epididymis.
  • Check for twisting of the spermatic cord. This problem cuts off blood supply to the testicles (testicular torsion).
  • Check to see if testicular cancer has come back.
  • Find an undescended testicle camera.gif.
  • Check for fluid in the scrotum (hydrocele), fluid in the epididymis (spermatocele), blood in the scrotum (hematocele), or pus in the scrotum (pyocele).
  • Guide a biopsy needle for a testicular biopsy. This may be done when testing for infertility.
  • Check an injury to the genital area.

How To Prepare

You don't need to do anything to prepare for a testicular ultrasound.

If you are having a biopsy or another test during the ultrasound, you may need to sign a consent form.

Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).

How It Is Done

A testicular ultrasound is usually done by an ultrasound technologist. It is done at a doctor's office or hospital.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
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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