Testicular-sparing microsurgery for suspected testicular masses

Giovanni Maria Colpi, Luca Carmignani, Franco Nerva, Piediferro Guido, Franco Gadda, Fabrizio Castiglioni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To describe a microsurgical technique for removing suspected testicular masses with sparing of the testicular parenchyma, and to describe case studies. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Six men were referred with testicular lesions (3-6 mm) detected on ultrasonography (US); in one, the lesion was palpable. US showed hypoechoic lesions and in two cases were mixed hypoechoic and anechoic. In these men, the testicular lesion was identified by US before surgery, giving three-dimensional coordinates to facilitate intraoperative recognition. A traditional inguinal incision was used and the funiculus clamped subinguinally without opening the canal. The testicle was isolated after sectioning the gubernaculum testis. In a separate operative field, an equatorial incision of the albuginea was made in a plane orthogonal to the major axis of the testicle, sparing the subtunical vasa. The parenchymal lobuli were dislodged and the seminiferous tubules dissociated, the nodule identified and completely removed, together with ≈1 mm of surrounding healthy tissue. This technique can also be used for microsurgical testicular sperm extraction (MicroTESE), to retrieve sperm in infertile men. RESULTS: In two infertile men MicroTESE was also performed. Histology revealed one case each of seminoma, Leydig-cell tumour, Leydig cell hyperplasia, atrophy normality in the incidental forms, and complicated cysts of the albuginea. In the follow-up for infertility reasons, no scarring was observable on the tunica albuginea in the men who had conservative therapy. One year later the patient with seminoma was free of disease. CONCLUSIONS: The increasingly frequent detection of benign testicular lesions, particularly in infertile men, calls for a surgical approach that must be as conservative as possible for the testicular parenchyma. We think that microsurgery should be the first-line technique in small suspected testicular lesions in infertile men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-69
Number of pages3
JournalBJU International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005


  • Conservative surgery
  • Infertility
  • Leydig cell tumour
  • Testicular neoplasm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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