Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA)
Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA) at Birla Fertility & IVF
Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration or PESA is the least invasive surgical sperm retrieval technique in which sperm is aspirated from the epididymis (a coiled tube at the back of the testicle that stores and carries sperm). Retrieved sperm can be frozen for future fertility treatments or used in an ICSI-IVF cycle. PESA is especially effective for men who have undergone a vasectomy or have obstructive azoospermia as well as for men who were born without a vas deferens. TESE is recommended if PESA is unsuccessful.
At Birla Fertility & IVF, our multi-disciplinary team of fertility specialists and uro-andrologists are experienced in performing safe and effective PESA among other advanced surgical sperm retrieval techniques. We also provide the facility for single sperm vitrification in case of extremely low sperm count.
PESA is recommended for patients who have obstructive azoospermia (absence of sperm in the semen) resulting from a previous vasectomy or infection. PESA may be less effective for patients with sperm production problems and non-obstructive azoospermia. In such situations, Microdissection TESE (micro TESE) may be recommended.
The PESA Process
Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration is an outpatient procedure which takes approximately 20-30 minutes. In this procedure, the surgeon inserts a fine needle into the epididymis, present in the upper area of the testes and applies gentle suction to aspirate fluid. Local anaesthesia is administered prior to the procedure to numb any pain. The aspirated fluid is studied under a microscope for the presence of viable sperm. In case adequate sperm is not retrieved through PESA, the surgeon will recommend more advanced retrieval techniques like TESE or microTESE.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can PESA be used for conventional IVF?
The number of viable sperm present in the fluid aspirated from the epididymis is generally too low for conventional IVF treatments and ICSI is recommended when sperm is retrieved surgically.
Is PESA painful?
PESA is performed under local anaesthesia. The scrotum is numbed before the needle aspiration is done, and the patient will not experience any pain during the procedure.
How long will it take to recover from PESA?
PESA is a minimally invasive procedure that requires no hospitalisation. Patients can get back to their normal routine within 24 hours of the procedure.
What causes azoospermia?
Azoospermia or absence of sperm in semen can be caused by genetic issues like congenital absence of the vas deferens. It can also be the result of infections including sexually transmitted infections and certain medical treatments like cancer treatments.
Are there any risks of using sperm retrieved surgically?
There is no evidence which suggests lowered chances of conception with the use of surgically retrieved sperm or an increased risk of congenital issues in children conceived with the retrieved sperm either.
I would like to thank Birla Fertility and their team from the bottom of my heart for the wonderful job they have done. Doctors were very cooperative, as were their staff. I approached the hospital, after a few check-ups, the doctor suggested percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration, and I must say, I had a great experience in this hospital.
Well, I would say the entire hospital team is great. They have a great team of doctors and professionals. They closely monitor their patients and resolve all the doubts. The best part is the entire team was very helpful and trustworthy.
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