Role of orchiectomy in severe testicular pain after inguinal hernia surgery: audit of the Finnish Patient Insurance Centre

Hernia. 2015 Feb;19(1):53-9. doi: 10.1007/s10029-013-1150-3. Epub 2013 Aug 9.


Purpose: Testicular ischemia and necrosis are uncommon complications after inguinal hernioplasty. Our aim was to evaluate the incidence of severe urological complications related to adult inguinal hernia surgery in Finland with special reference to orchiectomy in relieving intractable chronic testicular pain.

Methods: All urological complications related to inguinal hernia surgery during 2003-2010 were analysed from the Finnish Patient Insurance Centre. The patients with intractable chronic scrotal or testicular pain that resulted in orchiectomy were re-evaluated after a median follow-up of 7 years (range 2-15 years). The operative factors related to chronic testicular pain and atrophy were analysed using multiple regression analysis.

Results: Altogether 62 urological complications (from 335 litigations) were recorded from 92,000 inguinal hernia operations. The distribution of claimed urological complications consisted of 34 testicular injuries, ten bladder perforations, seven massive scrotal haemorrhage or 11 miscellaneous injuries. Seventeen atrophic testes were left in situ and 17 (six early < 7 days, 11 late > 8 days) orchiectomies were performed due to necrosis or chronic testicular pain syndrome. In the conservative group of moderate scrotal or testicular pain (n = 17), all patients had late pain symptoms (>8 days), but pain was not so severe that orchiectomy was attempted. Using a multivariate analysis, postoperative infections were associated with chronic testicular or scrotal pain and atrophy, but hospital status, surgeon's training level, laparoscopic or open operation, type of hernia or use of mesh did not correlate with testicular injuries. During follow-up, 11/17 (65%) patients with orchiectomy were free of testicular pain.

Conclusion: Urological injuries form one-fifth of the major complications after inguinal hernioplasty. Orchiectomy appears to help the majority of patients with severe testicular pain syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Finland
  • Hernia, Inguinal / surgery*
  • Herniorrhaphy / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Audit
  • Middle Aged
  • Orchiectomy*
  • Pain, Intractable / etiology
  • Pain, Intractable / surgery
  • Pain, Postoperative / etiology
  • Pain, Postoperative / surgery*
  • Quality of Life
  • Registries
  • Testicular Diseases / etiology
  • Testicular Diseases / surgery*
  • Testis / blood supply
  • Testis / pathology
  • Testis / surgery
  • Young Adult