Aim: The objective of this study was to investigate the optimal approach for the treatment of hydroceles in adolescents.
Materials and methods: A retrospective chart review of all adolescents (10-16 years old) diagnosed with a de-novo hydrocele in 2 tertiary care institutions over a 10 year period (2007-2016) was performed comparing the inguinal and trans-scrotal (Jaboulay) approaches.
Results: Fifty-three boys with a mean age of 13.4 years (range 10-16 years) were diagnosed with hydrocele. The inguinal approach was used in 31 (59%) patients for treatment of their hydrocele. In 19 (61%) of these cases a patent processus vaginalis (PPV) ligation was performed. In the other 12 (39%) patients the PPV was closed or not found and a further repair of the hydrocele through the same inguinal incision was performed. A transcrotal Jaboulay procedure was performed in 22 (41%) of the patients. There was no difference in the complications rate between inguinal and trans-scrotal approaches (p = 0.71). Age of presentation less than 12 years was associated with the presence of a PPV (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: A trans-scrotal approach should be considered as first-line in adolescents when the history is not suggestive of a communicating hydrocele. Children less than 12 years of age are more likely to have a PPV and an inguinal approach may be more appropriate.
Type of study: Retrospective comparative study LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level II.
Keywords: Adolescents; De-novo hydrocele; Inguinal; Scrotal; Surgical approach.
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