VARICOCELE

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Varicocele
UROLOGY
Presented by
Dr.Hassan sabbagh
Urology department
Al-Mowassat Hospital
20/2/2014
Definition
A varicocele is a dilatation of the pampiniform venous plexus
and the internal spermatic vein .
Varicocele is a well-recognized cause of decreased testicular
function..
occurs in approximately 15-20% of all males and in 40% of
infertile males.
varicocele are the most common cause of poor sperm
production and decreased semen quality.
Varicoceles are easy to identify and to surgically correct.
Etiology
Varicoceles are much more common (approximately 80-90%)
in the left testicle than in the right because of several
anatomic factors, including:
1) the angle at which the left testicular vein enters the left
renal vein.
2) the lack of effective antireflux valves at the juncture of the
testicular vein and renal vein.
3) the increased renal vein pressure due to its compression
between the superior mesenteric artery and the aorta( the
nutcracker phenomenon)
4) Increased length of the left testicular vein: The left vein is
8-10 cm longer than the right testicular vein
80% of men with a left clinical varicocele had bilateral varicoceles
revealed by noninvasive radiologic testing.
Lt.spermatic vein pressure=10mm Hg and ends in
lt.renal vein which pressure =10mm .Hg.so any strain can be
detected by increase intra abdominal pressure by valsalva m .
In Rt.side :Rt.spermatic vein pressure =10 mm Hg
and ends in IVC which pressure =ZERO .So due to increase intra
abdominal pressure not increasing pressure Over Rt.spermatic
vein.
Right side varicocele :
We shoud consider possible retroperitoneal pathology (eg,renal
cell carcinoma) As the cause of spermayic vein compression.
Investigate further with approprite ultrasonography
Or Ct scanning befor repairing the varicocele.
Pathophysiology
Varicocele is associated with a progressive and durationdependent decline in testicular function.
1.) Elevated intrascrotal temperature resulting in reductions in
testosterone synthesis by Leydig cells,/ injury to germinal cell
membranes,/ altered protein metabolism/& reduced Sertoli cell
function/.
2.) The free reflux of renal and adrenal metabolites from the left
renal vein are directly gonadotoxic
.
3.) Impaired venous drainage results in hypoxia, poor clearance
of gonadotoxins, and elevated levels of oxidative stress.
Pathophysiology
The increased hydrostatic pressure in the intrascrotal veins
enhances the physiological countercurrent exchange from
these veins to the testicular artery.
Presentation
usually asymptomatic and often seeks
an evaluation for infertility after failed
attempts at conception.
He may also report scrotal pain or
heaviness.
An obvious varicocele is often described as feeling like a bag
of worms.
The presence of a varicocele does not mean that surgical
correction is a necessity.
Grading
• Despite having a congenital background it is not diagnosed
before the age of 10 years.
Grade I: Small, detectable only during the Valsalva
maneuver.
Grade II: Moderate, can be palpated without Valsalva.
Grade III: Large, visible through the scrotal skin & classically
described as feeling like a “bag of worms”, & decompresses in
supine position.
Sub-Clinical Varicoceles are those not detected clinically but
diagnosed only detected by ultrasonography with or without
doppler, radionucleotide scans, thermography & venography.
Diagnosis and
Investigations
Physical Examination
The physical examination has been the Varicocele method most
commonly used .
Testicular size and volume should be assessed.
Varicoceles diagnosed by physical examination are considered
“clinical” and they are classified according to their size.
Doppler US
Although
clinical varicoceles do not require
h
confirmation with ultrasound examination,
color Doppler ultrasound may be required
when the clinical examination is difficult.
Demonstration of reversal of venous blood flow
with the Valsalva maneuver or spermatic vein
diameters of 3 mm or greater support the
diagnosis of varicocele.
color Doppler ultrasound has more than 90%
sensitivity and specificity.
Venography
Venography of the internal spermatic veins
has been used to diagnose and treat
varicoceles.
nearly 100% (Most Sensitive) of clinical
varicocele patients will demonstrate reflux
on venographic examination.
left internal spermatic vein reflux has been reported in up to
70% of patients without a palpable varicocele. (High false
positive results & Limited Specificity)
Semen Analaysis
Clinical Treatment for Varicocele
There are few well-designed studies about medical
treatment for varicocele.
The use of carnitine combined with nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs for 6 months in patients with clinical
varicocele and infertility was not able to solve improve semen
parameters or achieve a higher pregnancy rate.
Clomiphene citrate has been shown to have no effect on sperm
concentration and motility in patients with subclinical
varicocele.
There is a benefit of antioxidants in patients with varicocele.
Indications for Intervention
Not everyone with a varicocele needs to have it corrected. This
determination should be made on a caseby- case basis.
1) Large varicoceles producing clinical symptoms such as dull
hemiscrotal discomfort or sense of heaviness.
2). The couple has known infertility with the female partner has
normal fertility.
3). The male partner has one or more abnormal semen
parameters or abnormal results from sperm function tests.
4). Adolescent males with unilateral or bilateral clinical
varicoceles & ipsilateral testicular hypotrophy (20% or 3ml
volume decrement from the contralateral testis)
5) cosmetic appearance, particularly when the varicocele is
extremely large.
Varicocoeles in childhood
Varicocoeles can be demonstrated in 6% of 10- year-old boys
and 15% of 13 year olds.
spermatogonia, seminiferous tubal atrophy, endothelial cell proliferation
and Leydig cell abnormalities. When foundin patients under 18 years of
age the changes are potentially reversible
Indications for treatment
The presence of symptoms is generally accepted as an indication for
surgical intervention, as is impairment of testicular growth.
‘prophylactic’ intervention in the case of the larger, grade
III, lesions, particularly if there is testicular asymmetry
with a discrepancy in testicular volume of >20%.
Recovery of testicular volume in adolescent patients, so called “catch-up
growth,” has been reported to occur in up to 80% of boys with grade II
or III varicoceles.
Methods Of Surgical Repair
 Scrotal Approach
Retroperitoneal approaches
(Open or Laparoscopic)
 Inguinal Approach
 Sub-Inguinal Approach
 Radiographic Occlusion
Techniques (Embolization)
 Scrotal
Approach
The very 1st approach for varicocele repair employed in the
early 1900s.
Involves mass ligation & Excision of the varicosed veins.
Not preferred practically due to the high incidence of
testicular artery injury with subsequent impairment of
the testicular blood supply, testicular atrophy & more
impaired spermatogenesis & fertility.
Retroperitoneal(Palomo)Approach
Incision at the level of the internal ring near to the Anterior
Superior Iliac Spine.
Exposure of the Internal Spermatic Artery & Vein
retroperitoneaelly near the ureter where only one or two
large veins are present & the testicular artery is not yet
branched & so easy to separate.
A disadvantage of a retroperitoneal approach is the
high incidence of varicocele recurrence, especially in
children and adolescents, when the testicular artery is
intentionally preserved.
Causes of recurrence
1) preservation of the periarterial plexus of fine veins along with the
artery. These veins have been shown to communicate with larger internal
spermatic veins.
2)presence of parallel inguinal or retroperitoneal collaterals,
which may exit the testis and bypass the ligated retroperitoneal veins,
rejoining the internal spermatic vein proximal to the site of ligation.
3)Dilated cremasteric veins, another cause of varicocele recurrence,
cannot be identified with a retroperitoneal approach
The incidence of recurrence appears to be higher in children,
with rates reported between 15% -45% in adolescents.
Recurrence is prevented by intentional artery ligation, However it
may cause testicular atrophy & subsequent azoospermia.
Laparoscopic Approach
It is an essence retroperitoneal approach with similar
advantages & disadvantages, including rate of recurrence.
The internal spermatic veins are ligated with the
laparoscope at the same level as the retroperitoneal
approach with preservation of the testicular artery.
The potential complications of laparoscopic varicocelectomy
(injury to bowel, vessels or viscera, air embolism,
peritonitis).
Laparoscopic Approach is a reasonable alternative for the
repair of bilateral varicoceles.
The Inguinal Approach
can be used in almost any patient
It allows for mobilization of the cord, identification of any
large veins within the cremasteric muscle.
identification of veins perforating the posterior inguinal
canal that might be contributing to the varicocele.
Conventional inguinal
operations are associated with
an incidence of postoperative
hydrocele formation varying
from 3% to 15%.
Subinguinal Approach
The incision is made just below the level of the external
inguinal ring
The advantage of this technique is that it requires a small
incision with no abdominal muscle or fascia cut.
At the subinguinal level, however, significantly more veins
are encountered.
identification and
preservation of testicular
artey more difficult
it is best to use in men with a
history of any prior inguinal
surgery.
Radiographic Occlusion Techniques
Does not prevent recurrence (4% to 11%) but allows visualization of all
collaterals difficult to be seen with the 2D view.
Drawbacks:
1) Take 1-3 hours to perform compared with 25 to 45 minutes
required for surgical repair.
2) Femoral vein perforation or thrombosis.
3) Anaphylaxis to radiographic medium.
4) Recurrence with large varicoceles & with Failure to cannulate
small collaterals.
5) Migration of the balloon or coil into the renal vein, resulting in
loss of a kidney, pulmonary embolization.
Complications of Varicocelectomy
Hydrocele
the most common complication reported after
nonmicroscopic varicocelectomy.
The incidence of this complication varies from 3% to 33%,
with an average incidence of about 7%.
hydrocele formation after varicocelectomy is due to
lymphatic obstruction.
Use of magnification to identify and preserve lymphatics
can virtually eliminate the risk of hydrocele formation.
Testicular Artery Injury
The diameter of the testicular artery in humans is 1.0 to 1.5 mm
The testicular artery supplies 2/3 of the testicular blood
supply, and the vasal and cremasteric arteries supply the 1/3.
Injury or ligation of the testicular artery carries with it the risk
of testicular atrophy and/or impaired spermatogenesis. (which
is less likely to occur in children due to compensatory
neovascularization).
The Use of Magnification & Micro-Doppler helps good
identification & Preservation of the testicular artery.
Varicocele Recurrence
The incidence of recurrence after varicocele repair varies from
0.6% to 45%.
Recurrence is mostly associated with:
1). Pediatric Varicocele
2). Non-Magnified Operations
3). Retro-peritoneal approaches (that misses the parallel
inguinal collaterals.
Results
Varicocelectomy results in significant improvement in semen
analysis in 60% to 80% of men.
Reported pregnancy rates after varicocelectomy vary from 20%
to 60%.
Microsurgical varicocelectomy results in return of sperm to the
ejaculate in up to 60% of azoospermic men with palpable
varicoceles.
Repair of large varicoceles results in a significantly
greater improvement in semen quality than repair of small
varicoceles.
pregnancy rate
1500 microsurgical operations
varicocelectomy
control group
• 43% of couples were pregnant
at 1 year.
• 10% in the control group.
• 69% at 2 years
• 13%at 2 years
these Table show improvements in seminal parameters with
varicocele repair and specific functional testing to include sperm
penetration assay, sperm DNA fragmentation levels and oxidative
stress levels.
varicocele repair reported mean increases in:
sperm density of 9.7 million/mL,
motility increases of 9.9%,
and WHO sperm morphology improvement by 3%
The vast majority of azoospermic patients with return of sperm
postvaricocele treatment will still require advanced ART such as
in-vitro fertilization to obtain conception.
Spontaneous pregnancy rates after varicocele treatment average between
30% and 50% with pregnancies occurring at an average of 8 months after
treatment.
CONCLUSION
Varicocele is one of the most common cause of male infertility.
The presence of varicocele must be detected in all patients
with abnormal Semen quality,including azoospermia.
Varicocelectomy results in significant improvement in semen
analysis in 60% to 80% of men and Spontaneous
pregnancy rates after varicocele treatment average between
30% and 50%.
Comparisons
of surgical approaches for varicocelectomy
By Dr. Hassan sabbagh
We compare the outcomes of three microsurgical
techniques:
inguinal high ligation (IHL) =40 patient
Retroperitoneal high ligation(RHL) =40 patient
Low ligation(LL) =40 Patient
we compared the operation time,
post operative complication
Recurrence rate.
The result was…………….
Operation time
60
50
40
30
OperationTime
20
10
0
Inguinal
Retro High
ligation
Low Ligation
18%
16%
14%
7.50%
12%
Epididymitis
Hydrocele
10%
8%
6%
5%
10%
4%
5%
2%
2.50%
2.50%
0%
Inguinal
Retro-Peritoneal
HL
Low Ligation
Recurrence rate
5%
5%
4%
4%
3%
3%
Recurrance
2%
2%
1%
1%
0%
Inguinal
Retroperitoneal
Hl
Recurrence rates
inguinal 5% (2 cases)
Retroperitoneal HL 2.5% (1case)
Low ligation LL (none case)
Low Ligation
Retroper
itoneal
HL 2.5%
Inguinal
5%
Low
ligation
0%
Recurrence rates
Conclusion
 As a microsurgical approach to the treatment
Of varicocele ,low ligation is better than inguinal
High ligation and retroperitoneal high ligation in
improving Recurrence rate and seminal parameters
of the patients.
Objective:
to evaluate the post operative complications
Of microscopic and conventional palomo
varicocelectomy
Microscopic palomo varicocelectomy Group A(n=130)
Conventional palomo
Group B (N=130)
The Postoperative complications and recurrence were
compered
Between the tow groups.
The result after 1 year of follow up were…………..
0.9
0.8
0.7
0.6
testicular atrophy
testicular pain
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0
microscopic
conventional
palomo
Testicular atrophy rates 0.7% vs 3.1%
Testicular pain rates 90.7% vs 67.7%
Group A (microscopic)=130 p
Group B (conventional palomo)=130 p
Recurrence rates
6.00%
5.00%
4.00%
3.00%
recurrence
2.00%
1.00%
0.00%
microscopic
Recurrence rates
Group A 5.3% vs
Group B 3.8%
conventional
palomo
Objective:
to compare the outcomes of the different surgical
Techniques used in varicocelectomy wich include:
Inguinal approach (40 p )
Laparoscopic approach (40 p)
Subinguinal microscopic approach (40 p)
The assessment included postoperative complications ,and
Postoperative semen analysis and pregnancy rate after 18 mon.
The result was…………..
Postoperative complications
20%
18%
16%
14%
12%
hydrocele
recurrence
10%
8%
6%
4%
2%
0%
inguinal
laparoscopic
microscopic
subinguinal
Inguinal: hydrocele 13% +13% recurrence.
Laparoscopic:
20% +18% .
Microscopic subinguinal : 0% +0.5% .
Laparoscopic
18%
Inguinal
13%
Microscopic
subinguinal
0.5%
Recurrence
Improvement of sperm motility and concentration
78%
76%
74%
72%
70%
sperm mobility and
concentration
68%
66%
64%
62%
60%
58%
inguinal
laparoscopic
microscopic
subinguinal
Inguinal: 65%
Laparoscopic:.67%
Microscopic subinguinal : 76%
Pregnancy rate after 1 year
40%
35%
30%
25%
20%
pregnancy rate
15%
10%
5%
0%
inguinal
laparoscopic microscopic
sub inguinal
Inguinal: 28%
Laparoscopic:. 30%
Microscopic subinguinal : 40%
Conclusions
The findings of our study have demonstrated
That , compared with open inguinal ,laparoscopic, and
microscopic Sub inguinal .
Sub inguinal microsurgical varicocelectomy offers
The best outcomes.
Varicocele management
A comparison of Palomo versus Inguinal approach
2009
Patient and Methods:
52 patients were included in study.Randomly 26 patients
were Operated In each group i.e inguinal and palomo.
All patients were followed at 3 and 6 months and 1 year.
The results were …………………………
Inguinal approach versus palomo
12.00%
10.00%
8.00%
wound haematoma
wound infection
hydrocele
recurrence
6.00%
4.00%
2.00%
0.00%
Inguinal
approach
Palomo
approach
Inguinal approach: 2(7.7%) +1(3.9%) +1 (3.9% ) +1 (3.9%)
Palomo approach: 1(3.9%) + 0 %
+0 %
+3(11.6%)
Conclusion
It is concluded the palomo operation Is better than
inguinal approach for varicocelectomy.
There is decreased complication rate and better
Patient satisfaction.
However recurrence is less in inguinal approach. Both
Procedures improve fertility.however choice of
procedures seems to be More of surgeon,s training and
personal liking Than considering benefits and draw
backs of both procedures.
Objectives:
The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcome of
varicocelectomy using a modified microsurgical method,
specifically a loupe-assisted method, and its effects on sperm
parameters in infertile men.
Patients and Methods:
This study was performed in 40 patients who presented with
varicocele.
All patients had at least a 1-year history of infertility with abnormal
semen parameters and varicocele proven by physical examination
20 patients were treated by a sub-inguinal approach assisted
by loupe magnification (Group A)
20 patients were treated by the same approach but without
magnification (Group B).
To facilitate the procedure, an ×3.0 loupe was used during
the spermatic cord dissection.
The Results were…………..
Post-Operative Complications
Group A, No.(%) (n
Group B, No.(%) (n
= 20)
= 20)
Scrotal
hematoma
1 (5)
2 (10)
Wound infection
2 (10)
2 (10)
Hydrocele
-
3 (15)
Recurrence
-
2 (10)
Scrotal edema
-
2 (10)
Complication
Conclusions:
Loupe-assisted sub- inguinal varicocelectomy
is a safe, simple, and effective method for the
treatment of sub-fertile men, especially in
medical facilities without microscopic
equipment, and permits significant
improvement in sperm parameters.
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