"What is Urology?"

Urology is a field of medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders stemming from the urinary tract as well as from the reproductive system in males. The specialists of Academic Urology & Urogynecology of Arizona address a broad spectrum of urology problems with state-of-the-art urologic care and treatment.

"What is a Urologist?"

A physician who is trained to address issues of the urinary tract in men and women and the male reproductive system is a specialist known as a urologist. In addition to this focused area of study, urologists are trained in internal medicine, pediatrics, gynecology, and other medical specialties. Education requirements include a medical degree, the completion of an approved residency program, and general, clinical, and surgical experience. To be granted board certification, urologists must fulfill specific education and examination requirements as specified by the American Board of Urology. The doctors of Academic Urology & Urogynecology of Arizona are considered leaders in the field of urologic care for men and women in the state of Arizona as well as throughout the United States.

"The Testes"

The testicles rest outside the abdominal cavity and are responsible for the production of sperm and testosterone. The sperm moves from the epididymis through the vas deferens to combine with fluid that is produced by the prostate and seminal vesicles. Examples of testicular disorders include male infertility, testicular cancer, hydrocele, etc. Men with such a condition are referred to urologic specialists, like those of Academic Urology & Urogynecology of Arizona.

"What is a Vasectomy?"

A vasectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that involves the disconnection of the vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm to the ejaculatory ducts. While men will not notice a reduction in their ejaculatory volume, their semen will be devoid of sperm to prevent pregnancy. Today, technological advances have made surgical vasectomy a low-risk and effective procedure. Using the no-scalpel vasectomy technique, the urologic specialists of Academic Urology & Urogynecology of Arizona make a midline puncture in the scrotal skin. The vas deferens are then guided through this hole and are clipped and cauterized to prevent the flow of sperm. This non-invasive approach reduces the risk of side effects, infection, and delayed recovery as the surrounding blood vessels and nerves are left undamaged and intact. When performed by an experienced surgeon, such as the Urologists of Academic Urology & Urogynecology of Arizona, vasectomies are considered 99 percent effective as a form of male contraceptive. In terms of risk, men may experience some degree of bruising, swelling, and tenderness at the incision site. In rare cases, more serious complications may occur, a topic AUUA will review with considering patients.

Diagram of the human male reproductive anatomy and the location of the surgical procedure for a vasectomy.

"Vasectomy Reversal Options"

The reversal of a vasectomy is a procedure known as a vasovasostomy. In this microsurgical procedure, the vas deferens connection is restored to permit the flow of sperm to the ejaculatory ducts and into the semen. It is important to note that while a vasovasostomy is possible, success is not a guarantee. Research indicates that the restoration of fertility is more likely for men who elect to pursue a vasectomy reversal within ten years of their original procedure. As with vasectomies, reversal procedures are typically performed on an out-patient basis. Risks include bruising, swelling, infection, damage to blood vessels and nerves, and the accumulation of fluid in the scrotum, a condition known as hydrocele. During the procedure, should the flow of sperm in the vas deferens be low or not detected, a blockage between the epididymis and the vas deferens is likely. In this instance, the urologic specialists will perform a vasoepididymostomy, a highly technical microsurgical procedure of which the Urologists of Academic Urology & Urogynecology of Arizona are experienced.

"How and why is Sperm Retrieved?"

Sperm is retrieved in the case of an uncorrectable ejaculatory duct blockage, a failed vasectomy reversal, or low sperm count. Sperm may be retrieved through a number of minimally invasive procedures. The Urologists of AUUA specialize in the following sperm retrieval procedures.

  • MESA (Microscopic Epididymal Sperm Aspiration): In this procedure, sperm is aspirated from the epididymis, a tube located in the back of the testis. Extracted sperm can be used immediately for intracytoplasmic injection into an egg, or can be frozen for later and subsequent fertility efforts.
  • PESA (Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration): Sperm is collected via the insertion of a needle into the scrotal sac and the epididymis.
  • TESE (Testicular Sperm Extraction): During a TESE procedure, a portion of testicular tissue is removed and sperm later extracted by an embryologist.
  • TESA (Testicular Sperm Aspiration): Like TESE, sperm is extracted from excised testicular tissue, but instead of being removed through microsurgical means, tissue is retrieved through the insertion of a syringe into the testicle. Doctors may elect to use this procedure prior to TESE to first pinpoint an area of adequate sperm production.
  • Testis Microdissection: For patients with very low levels of sperm production, AUUA Urologists may recommend a testis microdissection. In this procedure, an incision is made in the scrotal sac and the testis is dissected until an area of sperm production is found. This tissue is then removed and the sperm excised.


Call 623-547-2600 to schedule an appointment for a consultation with one of our Urologists and start restoring your pelvic health today.