The systematic use of intraoperative vascular Doppler ultrasound during microsurgical subinguinal varicocelectomy improves precise identification and preservation of testicular blood supply

Fertil Steril. 2010 May 1;93(7):2396-9. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2009.01.088. Epub 2009 Mar 6.


Objective: To evaluate the impact of systematic use of intraoperative Doppler ultrasound during microsurgical subinguinal varicocele repair.

Design: Prospective clinical study.

Setting: Andrology laboratory and male infertility section of the urology department of a tertiary care hospital.

Patient(s): Two hundred and thirteen men with clinical varicocele.

Intervention(s): Subinguinal microsurgical varicocele ligation using an intraoperative vascular Doppler flow detector.

Main outcome measure(s): Number of veins ligated, lymphatic spared, arteries identified or accidentally ligated.

Result(s): A statistically significant greater number of arteries were identified and preserved when intraoperative vascular Doppler was used. In addition, the average number of internal spermatic veins ligated was statistically significantly greater in the same group. Accidental artery ligation occurred in two cases (1.1%) in which the Doppler was not applied. There was no statistically significant difference in number of lymphatics spared between groups.

Conclusion(s): Our findings showed that concomitant use of intraoperative vascular Doppler during microsurgical varicocelectomy allows more arterial branches to be preserved, and more internal spermatic veins are likely to be ligated. This device should be considered an attractive tool to improve surgical outcomes and safety.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Impotence, Vasculogenic / prevention & control
  • Infertility, Male / etiology
  • Infertility, Male / surgery
  • Inguinal Canal / surgery
  • Intraoperative Period
  • Ligation / methods
  • Male
  • Microsurgery / methods*
  • Monitoring, Intraoperative / instrumentation
  • Monitoring, Intraoperative / methods
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Testis / blood supply*
  • Testis / surgery
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler / methods*
  • Urogenital Surgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Urogenital Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Varicocele / complications
  • Varicocele / rehabilitation
  • Varicocele / surgery*
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Young Adult