Microscopic spermatic cord denervation for chronic orchialgia/chronic scrotal content pain: operative outcomes and predictors of failure

Transl Androl Urol. 2020 Oct;9(5):1931-1936. doi: 10.21037/tau-20-561.


Background: To describe our institutional outcomes with microscopic spermatic cord denervation (MSCD) for chronic scrotal content paint (CSCP) and identify predictors of treatment failure.

Methods: Retrospective chart review was performed to identify all MSCD performed by two surgeons at a single institution from 2010-2019. Patient demographic data and operative outcomes were collected. Patients were excluded from analysis if no post-operative follow up was available. Success was defined as complete resolution of bothersome pain. Multivariable logistic regression was utilized to identify predictors of treatment failure.

Results: During the study period, 101 patients were identified in which 113 MSCD procedures were performed. Final analysis included 103 procedures across 93 patients. Mean age was 41.8 years (SD 13.2), mean BMI was 29.2 kg/m2 (SD 5.96) and median months of pain preceding surgery were 24 (range, 3-300 months). Overall, 75/103 (73%) MSCD were successful. Of the failures, 5 patients had recurrence of pain greater than 6 months after surgery. Only the presence of pelvic floor muscle spasm (PFMS) independently predicted MSCD failure (OR 3.95, P=0.02). 9 of 19 (47%) patients with PFMS experienced treatment failure, while 19 of 84 (23%) without PFMS experienced failure.

Conclusions: MSCD offers a therapeutic option for patients with refractory CSCP. The presence of PFMS is associated with lower surgical success rates. Patients with pre-operatively identified PFMS should be counseled regarding a higher risk of treatment failure.

Keywords: Spermatic cord; denervation; orchialgia; pelvic floor.