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Aim: To determine the effect of surgery for hernia or hydrocele in children (herniotomy) on the volume of the testis, using ultrasonography to measure the testicular volume.
Study Design: This was a prospective study of children that had herniotomy for unilateral hernia and hydrocele over a 12-months period.
Place and Duration of Study: Pediatric surgery unit, department of Surgery, Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria. 12 months duration.
Methodology: Consecutive children, less than 15 years, who presented during the study period with unilateral inguinal hernia/hydrocele were recruited into the study. The procedure and the study were explained to the parents/caregiver and informed consent obtained. Pre-operative testicular volumes of both testes were measured. At 12 months post-operatively, repeat testicular volumes were measured to determine if there is any significant change in the volume of the testes. All testicular volumes were measured using ultrasound.
Results: There were 42 unilateral herniotomies performed during the study period. The mean age of the patients was 22.4 ± 18.2 months (range: 4-73 months). There 22 (52.3%) hernias and 20 (47.7%) hydroceles. The overall mean volume of the unilateral testes before herniotomy was 1.7 ± 0.4 cm3 while the overall mean volume of the testes after surgery was 1.4 ± 0.4 cm3, p value = 0.004. For the contralateral testis, the mean pre-operative and post-operative testicular volumes were 1.8 ± 0.5 and 1.9 ± 0.4 cm3 respectively, p value = 0.354. There was one recurrence and one surgical site infection.
Conclusion: There was significant change in testicular volumes following herniotomy for unilateral hernias and hydroceles in children.
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