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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 369-373

Painful varicoceles: Role of varicocelectomy

Department of Urology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Nitin Abrol
Department of Urology, Christian Medical College Hospital, Vellore, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-1591.128497

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The incidence of varicocele in the general population is up to 15%. It is estimated that the prevalence of pain with varicoceles is around 2-10%. Till the year 2000, only two studies evaluated efficacy of varicocelectomy in painful varicoceles with conflicting results. Over the past decade many other studies have addressed this issue and reported on the treatment outcome and predictors of success. We critically appraised studies published from March 2000 to May 2013 evaluating surgical management in painful varicoceles to provide an evidence based review of effectiveness of varicocelectomy in relieving pain in patients with symptomatic painful varicoceles. The association between varicoceles and pain is not clearly established. Conservative treatment is warranted as the first line of treatment in men with painful clinical varicoceles. In carefully selected men with clinically palpable varicoceles and associated characteristic chronic dull ache, dragging or throbbing pain who do not respond to conservative therapy, varicocelectomy is warranted and is associated with approximately 80% success. However, surgical success does not always translate into resolution of pain and pain might persist even when no varicoceles are detected postoperatively.

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