ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 74-80

Inguinal and subinguinal micro-varicocelectomy, the optimal surgical management of varicocele: a meta-analysis


Department of Urology, Shanghai First People's Hospital, Medical College of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China

Correspondence Address:
Jian-Xin Qiu
Department of Urology, Shanghai First People's Hospital, Medical College of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai
China
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1008-682X.136443

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Conventional meta-analyses have shown inconsistent results for the efficacy of various treatments of varicoceles. Therefore, we performed a multiple-treatment meta-analysis to assess the effectiveness and safety of 10 methods of varicocelectomy and embolization/sclerotherapy. We systematically reviewed 35 randomized controlled trials and observational studies, from 1966 to August 5, 2013, which compared any of the following treatments for varococeles: laparoscopic, retroperitoneal, open inguinal and subinguinal varicocelectomy, microsurgical subinguinal and inguinal varicocelectomy, percutaneous venous embolization, Tauber antegrade sclerotherapy, retrograde sclerotherapy and expectant therapy (no treatment). Inguinal and subinguinal microsurgery, open inguinal, laparoscopic varicocelectomy showed a significant advantage over expectant therapy in terms of pregnancy rates (odds ratio (OR): 3.48, 2.68, 2.92 and 2.90, respectively). Compared with retroperitoneal open surgery, inguinal microsurgery showed an improvement of sperm density (mean difference (MD): 10.60, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.92-19.60) and sperm motility (MD: 9.09, 95% CI: 4.88-13.30). Subinguinal and inguinal microsurgery outperformed retroperitoneal open surgery in terms of recurrence (OR: 0.05, 0.06 respectively). Tauber antegrade sclerotherapy and subinguinal microsurgery were associated with the lowest risk of hydrocele formation. The odds of overall complication, compared with retroperitoneal open varicocelectomy, were lowest for inguinal microsurgery (OR = 0.07, 95% CI: 0.02-0.19), followed by subinguinal microsurgery (OR = 0.09, 95% CI: 0.02-0.19). Inguinal and subinguinal micro-varicocelectomy had the highest pregnancy rates, significant increases in sperm parameters, with low odds of complication. These results warrant additional properly conducted randomized controlled clinical studies with larger sample sizes.


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