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Testicular Biopsy

Alternate Names

  • biopsy, testicle
  • Testicles

Definition

A testicular biopsy involves removing a piece of tissue from a man's testicle for analysis.

Who is a candidate for the test?

A testicular biopsy is usually performed:
  • to check if a man's sperm is abnormal as part of infertility testing if a man and a woman are unable to conceive a baby
  • to determine if a lump found on one of the testicles is caused by testicular cancer

How is the test performed?

This procedure can be done in a healthcare professional's office or in a hospital or surgical center. In the case of a testicular lump, the procedure should be performed with the patient under anesthesia, as most patients require complete removal of the testicle if cancer is identified.
In the case of a testicular lump, the cut in the skin is commonly made in the groin, In the case of infertility, the cut in the skin is performed through the scrotum, the pouch that contains the testicles. Once the testicle is identified, a small piece of testicular tissue or the testicular lump is removed. The cuts in the testicle and the skin are then closed with stitches and the biopsy sample is taken to a laboratory and studied.

What is involved in preparation for the test?

A man should receive specific instructions from his healthcare professional.

What do the test results mean?

In the case of a testicular lump, a testicular biopsy result will show if there are any cancer cells present. Most patients require complete removal of the testicle if cancer is present.
If the biopsy is being done as part of an infertility workup, sperm development is analyzed. If sperm development appears normal, and the man has had a previous semen analysis that showed no sperm, the cause of infertility may be a blockage in the tube carrying the sperm and further surgery may be necessary.

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