Micro-TESE involves an operation under general anaesthetic performed through a small incision in the scrotum, through which both testicles can be seen. Sperm is then harvested (collected) from one or both testicles.
The surgeon examines each testicle under a high-power operating microscope. The surgeon looks for seminiferous tubules (where sperm is produced and transported) and searches for swollen tubules which are more likely to contain sperm. The surgeon will continue looking until they find sperm, or until they have examined and biopsied the testicle without seeing any sperm. The testis is closed with very fine dissolvable sutures (stitches), and the process is repeated on the other testicle. The sample tissue is then passed to a specialist who will look for the presence of sperm. If sperm are found during micro-TESE, they are extracted and frozen for future reproductive treatment, such as in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). The whole operation usually takes up to one hour.
Most men are surprised by the minimal amount of pain they have after this surgery. The scrotum is one of the fastest healing parts of the body and the multi-layered closure technique we use helps to make sure that men do not have infections or bleeding after the surgery. There will be sutures on the skin of your scrotum that will eventually dissolve leaving little or no scar. We ask that men avoid sex, masturbation, or vigorous exercise for at least 10 days after the surgery.