Microsurgical Sperm Retrieval - The Men's Clinic at UCLA
What is Microsurgical Sperm Extraction?
Sometimes the only method for a man to achieve biologic fatherhood is through surgical sperm extraction. At The Men's Clinic at UCLA, we use advanced microsurgical techniques to extract sperm to use for invitro fertilization coordinated with the female partner’s reproductive endocrinologist.
There are many names for sperm extraction such as MESA (microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration), PESA (percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration), TESE (testicular sperm extraction), TESA (testicular sperm aspiration) and Micro-TESE (microscopic TESE). The surgeons at the Men’s Clinic are skilled in all procedures and choosing which one is right for the man will be determined at the time of evaluation.
Microsurgical Sperm Retrieval Procedures
- Microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration (MESA) is typically performed in men with vasal or epididymal obstructions. During the procedure an incision is made in the scrotal skin and the testis and epididymis are exposed. Using an operating microscope, the epididymal tubules will be opened and sperm will be extracted. MESA allows surgeons to retrieve large numbers of sperm that may be frozen and used in future fertility cycles. This eliminates the need for future procedures and limits the amount of epididymal scarring. Many men undergoing sperm extraction may also be candidates for a reconstructive epididymovasostomy (connection of the vas deferens and epididymis to bypass a blockage). The combination of the sperm extraction and surgical procedure increases the likelihood of sperm appearing in the ejaculate.
- Testicular sperm extraction (TESE) is similar to MESA, but only involves the testis (testicle). First, your surgeon will expose the testis with a small incision. This allows for the sperm to be assessed immediately. For men with very limited sperm production, only microscopic areas of mature sperm may be present in the testis. To find these areas, a meticulous dissection is performed using an operating microscope and real time analysis is performed on the tissue to identify presence of sperm.
Following the extraction, sperm are processed and can be introduced to eggs via In-vitro fertilization (IVF) with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI.)
Fertility success rates after result of sperm extraction procedures are improving. Researchers now estimate that 40 – 50 percent of couples who use a combination of assisted reproductive techniques will become pregnant.
Scheduling an Appointment
Board-certified urologists staff The Men’s Clinic at UCLA and you can be assured you are getting an experienced physician performing your evaluation and procedure in a relaxed and comfortable environment. For more information and to schedule an appointment, please call the UCLA Urology Appointment line at (310) 794-7700.