Therapeutic efficacy and safety of laparoscopic surgery versus microsurgery for varicocele of adult males: A meta-analysis

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This study aimed to systemically evaluate the efficacy and safety of laparoscopy versus microsurgery in the surgical therapy of varicocele in male adults.


Relevant literature, published between January 1995 and October 2012, were searched in Pubmed/Medline database, OVID, EMBASE, Chinese Biology Medicine disc (CBMdisc), CNKI, CEBM\CCD, and Cochrane database. The newly published papers were also manually searched. Randomized controlled trials (RCT) related to the surgical interventions of varicocele were included, and full texts were obtained. Each study was evaluated with the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool. Two investigators collected data independently to produce the meta-analysis.


Five RCTs met the inclusion criteria and included 554 patients. Data were merged by the RevMan5.1 software. The sperm concentration increased significantly after surgery (WMD = 4.28; 95% CI = 4.16, 6.99; P < .00001, Z = 7.72). There was no significant difference in the postoperative hospital stay between laparoscopy and microsurgery (WMD = 0.24, 95% CI = 0.44, 0.93; P = .49, Z = 0.69). The operation time of laparoscopy was significantly shorter than that of microsurgery (WMD = 40.31, 95% CI = 37.77, 42.86; P < .00001, Z = 31.03). The incidence of hydrocele reduced significantly after microsurgery as compared to laparoscopy (WMD = 0.05, 95% CI = 0.01, 0.27; P = .0005, Z = 3.49). The postoperative recurrence rate after microsurgery was significantly lower than that after laparoscopy (WMD = 0.10, 95% CI = 0.04, 0.25; P < .00001, Z = 5.01).


No significant differences were found between microsurgery and laparoscopy for the increase of sperm concentration and operation time. Compared to the laparoscopy group, the microsurgery group had lower postoperative incidence of hydrocele and recurrence rate, but longer in the operation time.

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