Microdenervation of the spermatic cord for post-vasectomy pain syndrome.


Journal Article

OBJECTIVE:To evaluate the outcomes of patients who underwent microdenervation of the spermatic cord (MDSC) for post-vasectomy pain syndrome (PVPS) at our institution. METHODS:A retrospective study of all patients who underwent MDSC for PVPS by a single surgeon between March 2002 and October 2016 was performed. Pain was documented using the numerical rating scale (NRS). Spermatic cord block (SCB) was performed on all patients, and success was defined as NRS score ≤1 for >4 h. All patients had failed medical therapy prior to MDSC. All previous procedures for PVPS had been performed elsewhere. Surgical success was defined as a postoperative NRS score of ≤1. RESULTS:A total of 27 patients with 28 scrotal units underwent MDSC for PVPS. The median (1st quartile; 3rd quartile) follow-up was 10 (2; 16.5) months. The median (range) duration of pain prior to surgery was 57 (8-468) months. Pain was bilateral in 14 (52%), left-sided in eight (30%) and right-sided in five patients (19%). Data on SCB were available for 23 patients, with a success rate of 96%. The median (range) preoperative pain NRS score was 7 (2-10). The median (range) pain score after SCB on the NRS scale was 0 (0-5). The median (range) postoperative pain score on the NRS was 0 (0-9). Overall success was achieved in 20 of 28 testicular units (71%). Patients with involvement of multiple structures in the scrotum (i.e. testis, epididymis, spermatic cord) had a success rate of 81% and were more likely to have a successful surgery (P < 0.001). Five patients had failed a prior epididymectomy and three had failed a vaso-vasostomy for PVPS; this had no correlation with the success of MDSC (P = 0.89). CONCLUSION:The MDSC procedure is a reasonably successful, durable and valuable approach for PVPS, especially when pain involves multiple structures in the scrotum (testis, epididymis, spermatic cord). MDSC was equally efficacious in patients who had previously failed a procedure for PVPS. No patient had a worsening NRS score after MDSC. This is the largest study to date evaluating MDSC for the treatment of PVPS.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Tan, WP; Tsambarlis, PN; Levine, LA

Published Date

  • April 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 121 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 667 - 673

PubMed ID

  • 29352521

Pubmed Central ID

  • 29352521

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1464-410X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1464-4096

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/bju.14125


  • eng