To determine if robot-assisted varicocelectomy can be safely and effectively performed when compared to microscopic inguinal varicocelectomy.
Eight patients aged 29.1+/-12.5 years underwent microscopic subinguinal varicocelectomies: seven patients with left-sided repair, and one patient with bilateral repair. Eight patients aged 22.0+/-8.0 years underwent robot-assisted varicocelectomies: seven patients with left-sided repair and one patient with bilateral repair.
The average operative time for microscopic inguinal varicocelectomy was 73.9+/-12.2 min, whereas the robot-assisted technique took 71.1+/-21.1 min. There were no difficulties in identifying and isolating vessels and the vas deferens with robot-assisted subinguinal varicocelectomy. Hand tremor was eliminated using the robotic procedure. Patients who underwent either microscopic or robot-assisted varicocelectomies were able to resume daily activities on the day of surgery and full activities within 2 weeks. There were no complications or recurrences of varicocele.
From our experience, compared to microscopic surgery, robot-assisted varicocelectomy can be safely and effectively performed, with the added benefit of eliminating hand tremor.