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Bilateral Endoscopic Total Extraperitoneal (TEP) Inguinal Hernia Repair Does Not Induce Obstructive Azoospermia: Data of a Retrospective and Prospective Trial

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Abstract

Background

The endoscopic totally extraperitoneal (TEP) mesh repair is nowadays a well-established tension-free method for inguinal hernia repair. Mainly based on animal studies and case reports, a concern about the risk of postoperative infertility was expressed. This clinical study aimed to evaluate the risk of infertility due to obstructive azoospermia in men of fertile age who underwent a bilateral hernia repair.

Methods

Over 3 years (2005–2008) 59 male patients, 18–60 years of age, underwent a bilateral TEP repair. Twenty-one of them were prospectively (“light mesh”) and 38 retrospectively (“heavy mesh”) evaluated for testicular volume and perfusion, serum levels of sexual hormones, ejaculate volume, and number of spermatic cells. Those parameters were determined preoperatively (prospective group) and not earlier than 3 months postoperatively (both groups).

Results

No significant difference between pre- and postoperative values was detected in the prospectively studied group. All postoperative parameters were within the normal range in the retrospective group. There was no evidence of impaired fertility in any patient due to the operation.

Conclusion

The standardized TEP technique for simultaneous bilateral inguinal hernia repair in male patients was not associated with a higher risk for postoperative infertility after mesh implantation. The use of heavy-weight meshes had no negative effect on fertility.

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The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

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Correspondence to K. H. Bauer.

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S. Skawran and D. Weyhe have contributed equally to this work.

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Skawran, S., Weyhe, D., Schmitz, B. et al. Bilateral Endoscopic Total Extraperitoneal (TEP) Inguinal Hernia Repair Does Not Induce Obstructive Azoospermia: Data of a Retrospective and Prospective Trial. World J Surg 35, 1643–1648 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00268-011-1072-0

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