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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2001 December;56(6):655-9


language: English

Microsurgical treatment of varicocele in outpatients using the subinguinal approach

Testini M., Miniello S., Piccinni G., Di Venere B., Lissidini G., Esposito E.


Background. The aim of this study is to analyze the results of a group of patients who underwent subinguinal microsurgical varicocelectomy using local anaesthesia in one-day-surgery.
Methods. From 1997 to 1998 150 patients were selected from the whole group of patients who underwent surgical treatment for varicocele. The varicocele was always on the left side and the mean age was 27.1 years (range: 16-43). The diagnosis was based on clinical features (testicular pain or scrotal sensation), physical examination and Doppler ultrasound. Where there was infertility with abnormal semen analysis and/or patient's intolerance to the symptoms, surgery was suggested. The patients underwent varicocelectomy by sub-inguinal approach using local anaesthesia. The microsurgical technique of dissection was performed.
Results. All operations were performed on an outpatient basis (post-operative stay: 3-7 hours) and the operating time was 20 to 45 minutes. Follow-up was performed by physical examination, doppler ultrasound and semen analysis. Immediate and long-term complications were: 7 (4.7%) transient pain, 3 (2.0%) ecchymosis, 1 (0.7%) transient hydroceles and 1 (0.7%) permanent hydroceles, 2 (1.3%) palpable recurrence, 2(1.3%) doppler recurrence and 1 (0.7%) long-term recurrence, 0 testicular atrophy. 120/150 (80%) patients showed an improvement of semen analysis and 19/41 (46.3%) patients with infertility achieved a pregnancy with the partner.
Conclusions. Microsurgical treatment of varicocele in outpatients by subinguinal approach is a safe and reliable procedure. It is performed in local anaesthesia, preserves the lymphatics, spermatic artery and vas and in our experience showed an improvement of semen analysis and pregnancy rates with minimal morbidity.

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