Varicocele, conventional laparoscopic ligation versus occluding balloon embolization
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Varicocele is a relatively complex pathology that affects the pampiniform plexus of veins in the spermatic cord. Modern treatment involves both urological/surgical and interventional procedures. Our objective is to compare outcomes of conventional laparoscopic ligation (LL) and occluding balloon embolization (OBE) a percutaneous interventional procedure.
Materials and methods
We treated retrospectively a total of 98 patients, divided in two cohorts; arm A with 48 and arm B with 50 patients. Arm A patients underwent LL, while arm B ones were treated in interventional radiology suite, via OBE method. No comorbidities were reported, especially scrotal ones. Hence, all patients have been asked to respect 3 and 6 months’ follow-up, clinical examination and ultrasonography were performed. Age range of the entire sample: 15–45 years old, with average of 28 years. The study involved two European centers. We performed a comparative analysis (Fisher’s test) of intra-operative time, hospitalization and patient’s postoperative recovery time.
Results and limitations
Outcomes have been in line with the recent literature ones, allowing the occluding balloon embolization a small advantage for quicker operative average time, hospitalization needed and full recovery to normal activities for the patient. Main limitation was the unfeasibility of cost-effectiveness analysis due to national differences, limited sample and lack of complete semen analysis pre- and postoperative.
Both OBE and LL are safe and effective procedures in the treatment of varicocele, conceding OBE a slight advantage in terms of hospital stay and full recovery to normal activity of patients.
KeywordsVaricocele Laparoscopic ligation Occluding balloon Embolization Interventional radiology
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
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