Diseases & Conditions

Biopsy, Testicle - Testicular Biopsy

Overview & Description

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 doctor's office or in the hospital. First, an area on the scrotum, the pouch that contains the testicles, is cleaned with an antiseptic. This area is then injected with a local anesthetic. When the skin is numb, a small cut is made in the scrotum and a small piece of testicular tissue is removed. The cuts in the testicle and scrotum are then closed with stitches. The biopsy sample is taken to a laboratory and studied.

    Preparation & Expectations

    What is involved in preparation for the test?

    A man should receive specific instructions from his healthcare provider.

    Results and Values

    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. If the biopsy is being done as part of an infertility workup, sperm development is analyzed. It 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. In both these cases, further surgery may be necessary.


    Author:David T. Moran, MD
    Date Written:
    Editor:Smith, Mary Ellen, BS
    Edit Date:04/12/00
    Reviewer:Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
    Date Reviewed: