Purpose: We evaluated the importance of intraoperative venography and surgical approach on varicocele recurrence after surgical varicocelectomy in male adolescents. Materials and Methods: The analysis was done using local data and composite data from the literature. We reviewed the records of patients undergoing varicocele ligation between 1986 and 1995 at our institution. Data were stratified by surgical approach and performance of venography, and compared by cross table analysis. Data were then compiled from the literature from series that included cases stratified according to surgical approach and/or performance of venography. The impact of these parameters on recurrence rates was assessed by computing success rates and cross table analysis. Results: At our institution 33 boys underwent ligation via a suprainguinal (27) or inguinal (8) approach. Intraoperative post- ligation vanography was performed in 16 cases and omitted in 19. Neither surgical approach nor performance of venography influenced the recurrence rate in these patients (not statistically significant). Similarly, venography did not affect the recurrence rate after stratification by surgical approach (not significant). The overall success rate was 97% (34 of 35 cases). These data were added to those of 3 published studies, totaling 252 varicoceles with comparable groupings. Mean success rate after a suprainguinal and inguinal approach was 95.6 (93.2 to 97.4) and 88.3% (82.7 to 100%), respectively. Recurrence tended to be less common after a suprainguinal than an inguinal approach (p = 0.06). Post-ligation venography did not statistically affect the success rate after stratification according to surgical approach but it was associated with a higher success rate when performed with the inguinal approach. Conclusions: Irrespective of the performance of venography, the suprainguinal surgical approach yield higher success rates than the inguinal approach to varicoceles in adolescents. Post- ligation intraoperative venography fails to affect significantly the success rate of varicocele ligation but it may be useful during an inguinal approach.
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