Aim: To report a series of varicocelectomy performed under pure local anesthesia.
Methods: From July 1988 to June 2003, a total of 575 patients, aged between 15 and 73 years, underwent high ligation of the internal spermatic vein for treatment of a varicocele testis under a regional block in which a precise injection of 0.8 % lidocaine solution was delivered to involved tissues after exact anatomical references were made. A 100-mm visual analog scale (VAS) was used to assess whether the pain level was acceptable.
Results: The surgeries were bilateral in 52 cases, and unilateral in 523 cases. All were successfully performed on an outpatient basis except in the case of two patients, who were hospitalized because their surgeries required general anesthesia. Overall, 98.6 % (567/575) of men could go back to work by the end of the first post-operative week and only 8 (1.4 %) men reported feeling physical discomfort on the eighth day. The VAS scores varied from 11 mm to 41 mm with an average of (18.5+/-11.3) mm that was regarded as tolerable.
Conclusion: This study has shown varicocelectomy under local anesthesia to be possible, simple, effective, reliable and reproducible, and a safe method with minimal complications. It offers the advantages of more privacy, lower morbidity, with no notable adverse effects resulting from anesthesia, and a more rapid return to regular physical activity with minor complications.