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Microsurgically Assisted Inguinal Hernia Repair and Simultaneous Male Fertility Procedures: Rationale, Technique and Outcomes

Michael L. Schulster∗, Matthew R. Cohn, Bobby B. Najari∗,†, Marc Goldstein
Department of Urology and Institute for Reproductive Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, New York
∗Current address: Department of Urology, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, New York.
†Current address: Department of Population Health, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, New York.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.juro.2017.06.072

Inguinal herniorrhaphy is the most common general surgical procedure. It is associated with frequent complications such as recurrence in 2.0% to 14.1% of cases with mesh as well as postoperative hematoma in 4.5% of cases, reduced sensation in 0% to 42.8%, chronic postoperative pain in 5.1%, vasal injury in 0.1% to 0.53% and infection in 3% to 6%. Drawing on our experience with the operating microscope for varicocelectomy, vasectomy reversal and repair of iatrogenic vasal obstruction from hernia repair, we applied the operating microscope for inguinal hernia repair. This study describes the rationale, technique and outcomes of microsurgically assisted inguinal hernia repair.

Materials and Methods
A total of 291 microsurgically assisted inguinal hernia repairs were performed in 253 men by the same urologist (MG). Simultaneous microsurgical varicocelectomy or other testicular procedures were performed in 83% of cases. All were open repairs through an inguinal incision with the vas deferens, ilioinguinal nerve, genital branch of the genitofemoral nerve, and spermatic vasculature identified and preserved. Median followup was 8.6 months. Outcomes were assessed by examination, pain reporting and pathology reports.

Chronic postoperative pain, sensory loss, infection, hematoma, vasal injury and recurrence were assessed. The incidence of hematoma was 0.85%. No recurrent hernia, chronic postoperative pain, sensory loss, infection or vasal injury was reported.

Using an operating microscope the complications of inguinal hernia repair, such as vasal obstruction, testicular atrophy, recurrence, infection, hematoma, chronic postoperative pain and loss of sensation, are minimized. Microsurgically assisted hernia repair is a promising technique, especially when performed by a urologist who simultaneously performs microsurgical varicocelectomy or procedures involving spermatic cord structures or the testis.

Key Words: testis, hernia, inguinal, microsurgery, testicular hydrocele, varicocele

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