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Minerva Chirurgica 2000 April;55(4):283-90


language: Italian

The idiopathic varicocele: which treatment?

Tosato F., Passaro U., Vasapollo L., Carnevale L., Scocchera F., Marano S., Tosato M., Martone N., Paolini A.


Purpose of the paper is to sum up the problem of surgery of idiopathic varicocele according to the present possibilities, both surgical and sclerotic. A wide review of the literature underlines a high rate of relapses and persistence of the disease (with a percentage from 10 to and 10%) following the two most used technique: retrograde sclerotic therapy under radioscopic control and surgical retroperitoneal or inguinal ligature of the internal spermatic vein; this technique was preferred by us untill 1997. The percentage of failures, high with reference to the benign form of the disease (over 10% in our series of more than 100 patients submitted to clinical and flowmeter examinations) let the authors suggest a combined and simultaneous operation of ligature both internal and external of the spermatic vein at the level of the internal inguinal ring. Anatomical reasons confirm the opportunity of this procedure since the involvement of the system of the external spermatic vein is present in about the 20% of the cases of idiopathic varicocele in accordance with various flebografic studies. The possibility of escape through the external spermatic vein is eliminated in the case in which such vessel is preserved, and it seems frequent above all in 3rd degree idiopathic varicocele where many anastomotic vessels between the two systems are present. This procedure can be made both in general or local anaesthesia, it doesn't involve postoperative hospital stay and present the same acceptable postoperative complication of other proposed operations. The laparoscopic treatment even if easily performed at the level of the internal inguinal ring, doesn't seem justified for the higher cost and equal compliance for the patient. Besides, it is not possible to proceed laparoscopically under local anaesthesia.

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