Targeted Robotic Assisted Microsurgical Denervation of the Spermatic Cord for the Treatment of Chronic Orchialgia or Groin Pain: A Single Center, Large Series Review

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Abstract

Purpose:

Microsurgical denervation of the spermatic cord is a treatment option for chronic orchialgia refractory to conservative treatment. A recent study showed specific nerve fibers as the possible cause of chronic orchialgia. Our goal was to present the outcomes of ligation of these nerves using a technique of targeted robotic assisted microsurgical denervation of the spermatic cord.

Materials and Methods:

We retrospectively reviewed the records of 772 patients who underwent targeted robotic assisted microsurgical denervation of the spermatic cord from October 2007 to July 2016. Selection criteria were chronic testicular pain more than 3 months in duration, failed conservative treatments, negative neurological and urological workup, and temporary resolution of pain with a local anesthetic spermatic cord block. Targeted robotic assisted microsurgical denervation of the spermatic cord was performed. Pain was assessed preoperatively and postoperatively using a subjective visual analog scale and objectively with the standardized and validated PIQ-6 (Pain Impact Questionnaire-6) score.

Results:

Followup data were available on 860 cases. During a median followup of 24 months (range 1 to 70) 718 cases (83%) showed a significant reduction in pain and 142 (17%) had no change in pain by subjective visual analog scale scoring. Of cases with a significant reduction in pain 426 (49%) had complete resolution and 292 (34%) had a 50% or greater reduction. Objective PIQ-6 analysis showed a significant reduction in pain in 67% of patients 6 months postoperatively, in 68% at 1 year, in 77% at 2 years, in 86% at 3 years and in 83% at 4 years.

Conclusions:

Targeted robotic assisted microsurgical denervation of the spermatic cord is an effective, minimally invasive approach with potential long-term durability in patients with refractory chronic orchialgia.

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