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Testicular Appendage Torsion—To Explore the Other Side or Not?

      Abstract

      Objective

      To investigate and compare the risks vs benefits of synchronous contralateral scrotal compartment exploration when testicular appendage torsion is diagnosed intra-operatively.

      Methods

      Emergency scrotal explorations performed at the Women's and Children's Hospital between 2002 and 2017 were retrospectively analysed to identify patients with testicular appendage torsion. Primary outcome measures were metachronous acute scrotum re-presentations and returns to theatre. Outcomes were compared between groups that underwent unilateral and bilateral scrotal compartment exploration.

      Results

      Testicular appendage torsion was diagnosed intra-operatively in 575 patients and 90.4% underwent unilateral scrotal exploration. Re-presentations with metachronous acute scrotum on the non-index side occurred in 8.5% of unexplored and 3.6% of previously explored sides (P = .29). Non-index side returns to theatre occurred in 5.4% of unexplored and 0% previously explored sides (P = .097). Future metachronous contralateral testicular appendage torsion was diagnosed in 4.2%. Post-operative complications were comparably low in both groups. The number needed to treat to prevent a return to theatre for metachronous contralateral testicular appendage torsion is 24.

      Conclusion

      The low morbidity of exploring the contralateral side is justifiable, but confers only limited benefit of preventing low likelihood future metachronous contralateral pathology. In balancing these risks, we recommend contralateral exploration as advisable but not a necessity.
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