The role of Doppler ultrasonography in determining the proper surgical approach to the management of varicocele in children and adolescents.

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Abstract: OBJECTIVE To investigate whether colour Doppler ultrasonography (CDUS) is a reliable diagnostic tool for selecting patients with varicocele to undergo either laparoscopy or open microsurgical subinguinal ligation. PATIENTS AND METHODS In a 3-year period, 42 boys affected by left varicocele were evaluated before surgery by inguinal and scrotal CDUS. Using this method it was possible to distinguish Coolsaet type-1 varicocele (due to isolated renal-internal spermatic vein reflux) and Coolsaet type-3 varicocele (due to associated renal-internal spermatic reflux and iliac-deferential reflux). Boys with Coolsaet type-1 varicocele were treated by a laparoscopic transperitoneal Palomo procedure, whereas those with Coolsaet type-3 varicoceles were treated by lymphatic-sparing microsurgical subinguinal ligation. RESULTS The varicocele was Coolsaet type-3 in six patients (14%), who had microsurgical open surgery, and the remaining 36 (86%) had Coolsaet type-1 and had laparoscopic surgery. At the follow-up there was no venous scrotal reflux. In two patients in the laparoscopic group a hydrocele developed after surgery, which resolved spontaneously. CONCLUSIONS This study showed that CDUS was a reliable diagnostic tool for assessing boys with varicocele. It clearly distinguished Coolsaet-type 1 varicoceles that can be treated laparoscopically, from Coolsaet type-3 varicoceles that should be treated with microsurgical subinguinal ligature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1291-1297
Number of pages7
JournalBJU International
Publication statusPublished - 2006


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Urology

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