Objective: To combine and analyse the results from centres with a large experience of laparoscopy for the impalpable testis with small series, to determine the expected success rate for laparoscopic orchidopexy. Methods: A questionnaire was distributed to participating paediatric urologists; each contributor retrospectively reviewed the clinical charts for their cases of therapeutic laparoscopy for an impalpable testis. Detailing 36 variables for each patient. The data were collated centrally into a computerized database. For inclusion, the testis was intra-abdominal (including 'peeping' at the internal ring) at laparoscopic examination, was not managed through an open approach and did not undergo orchidectomy. Three surgical groups were assessed, with success defined as lack of atrophy and intrascrotal position: group 1, primary laparoscopic orchidopexy; group 2, a onestage Fowler-Stephens (F-S) orchidopexy; and group 3. A two-stage F-S orchidopexy. Results: Data were gathered from 10 centres in the USA, covering the period 1990-1999; 252 patients representing 310 testes were included and overall, 15.2% were lost to follow-up. There was no significant difference between success rates in the larger and smaller series. Atrophy occurred in 2.2% of 178 testes, 22.2% of 27 testes and 10.3% of 58 testes in groups 1-3, respectively. Testes were not in a satisfactory scrotal position in 0.6%, 7.4% and 1.7% of groups 1-3, respectively. The mean follow-up for each group was 7.7, 8.6 and 20.0 months, respectively. The overall success for all groups was 92.8% (97.2% group 1; 74.1% group 2; 87.9% group 3), with an atrophy rate of 6.1%. Conclusion: Laparoscopic orchidopexy for the intraabdominal testis, in both large and small series, can be expected to have a success rate higher than that historically ascribed to open orchidopexy. Within this series, single-stage F-S laparoscopic orchidopexy resulted in a significantly higher atrophy rate than the two-stage repair. However, when considering both F-S approaches, the laparoscopic approach gave greater success than previously reported for the same open approaches. Despite the weaknesses inherent in a retrospective unrandomized study, we conclude that laparoscopic orchidopexy is, if not the procedure of choice, an acceptable and successful approach to the impalpable undescended testicle.
- Combined analysis
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