Objectives. To study the effects of varicocelectomy on testicular temperature. Methods. Testicular skin surface temperature was directly measured with an electronic thermometer calibrated to 0.01°C in 119 men before and after microsurgical varicocelectomy and in 45 control patients without varicocele. Results. Testicular temperatures in men with varicocele were elevated preoperatively (right side [R]: 34.00 ± 0.91°C/left side [L]: 34.37 ± 0.87°C unilateral; R: 34.07 ± 0.83°C/L: 34.34 ± 0.85°C bilateral) relative to control patients (R: 33.04 ± 2.47°C/L: 32.86 ± 2.52°C) (P <0.01). Postoperative temperatures were unchanged in the control patients. Testicular temperatures decreased after both bilateral and unilateral varicocelectomy (R: 33.03 ± 0.85°C/L: 32.84 ± 1.0°C unilateral; R: 33.27 ± 1.0°C/L: 33.54 ± 1.2°C bilateral) to levels nearly identical to those of control patients (P <0.001). Conclusions. Testicular temperatures were elevated bilaterally in men with both unilateral and bilateral varicoceles. Both unilateral and bilateral microsurgical varicocelectomy results in a bilateral decrease in testicular temperature. These results support the hypothesis that a defect in testicular thermoregulation contributes to the pathophysiology of varicocele and demonstrate, for the first time in humans, the efficacy of varicocelectomy in restoring normal testicular temperatures.
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