Randomized Controlled Trial of Scrotal versus Inguinal Orchidopexy on Postoperative Pain
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INTRODUCTION: To compare the impact of orchidopexy approach (scrotal vs inguinal) on analgesic requirements, postoperative pain scores and complication rates. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A superiority randomized controlled trial including boys 10 to 95 months of age at surgery, diagnosed with palpable undescended testis, was conducted. Patients with nonpalpable or bilateral undescended testis, previous inguinal surgery on the ipsilateral side and concurrent procedures were excluded. Block randomization with 1:1 allocation ratio and a standardized anesthesia protocol were employed. The primary outcome was postoperative pain and analgesic use in-hospital and at home using the validated pain scales FLACC (Face, Legs, Activity, Cry, and Consolability Behavioural Scale), CHEOPS (Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Pain Scale), PPPM (Parents Postoperative Pain Measure) and TPPPS (Toddler-Preschooler Postoperative Pain Scale). Secondary outcomes included operative time, conversion and success rates, and complications. An intention to treat protocol was followed. RESULTS: We enrolled 173 patients, and 12 withdrew. Of the 161 patients who completed followup, 80 had scrotal orchidopexy and 81 inguinal orchidopexy. In-hospital use of ibuprofen (p=0.02) and acetaminophen (p <0.01), as well as FLACC (p <0.01) and CHEOPS (p=0.04) pain scores were slightly higher in patients who underwent orchidopexy. No difference in mean operative time and median at-home administration of analgesic was noted. The conversion rate was 24% (19/80). Of these, 13 (68%) were canalicular testes. The overall complication rate was 4% (6/161): 1 testicular atrophy, 3 re-ascents and 2 wound infections. Of these, 5 underwent scrotal orchidopexy and 1 had inguinal orchidopexy (wound infection). CONCLUSIONS: Even though in-hospital mean postoperative pain scores and analgesic consumption were slightly lower for scrotal orchidopexy cases, the pain levels were mild across all scales. Median at-home analgesic use and pain scores were similar for both groups, as well as operative time and complication rates. Scrotal orchidopexy is an effective alternative to inguinal orchidopexy for low-lying undescended testis, as 68% of cases that needed conversion were canalicular testes.
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