Varicocelectomy Is Associated With Increases in Serum Testosterone Independent of Clinical Grade
Hsiao W, Rosoff JS, Pale JR, Powell JL, Goldstein M. Urology. 2013 Apr 3. pii: S0090-4295(13)00214-8. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2013.01.060. [Epub ahead of print]


Center for Male Reproductive Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY; Department of Urology, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY; Institute for Reproductive Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY; Center for Biomedical Research, Population Council, New York, NY; Department of Urology, Men's Health Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.



To determine whether the varicocele grade is related to the degree of improvement in serum testosterone levels after varicocelectomy.


We performed a retrospective review of men with a total serum testosterone level <400 ng/dL who had undergone microsurgical subinguinal varicocelectomy for infertility and/or hypogonadism. All men had clinically palpable left varicoceles and preoperative and postoperative total serum testosterone levels available. For patients with bilateral varicoceles, the greatest grade on either side was used to stratify the patients. The men with an isolated, left-side, grade I varicocele were not offered varicocelectomy. The changes in the testosterone levels were evaluated, with the results expressed as the mean ± standard error. P ≤.05 was considered statistically significant.


A total of 59 patients had undergone bilateral varicocelectomy and 19 unilateral varicocelectomy. Overall, an increase in testosterone was seen in 65 of the 78 men (83%) in the present study. The mean follow-up was 7 months. The mean serum testosterone level increased from 308.4 to 417.5 ng/dL, with a mean increase of 109.1 ± 12.8 ng/dL (n = 78). The improvements in the serum testosterone levels were seen regardless of the clinical grade.


Microsurgical varicocelectomy resulted in significant increases in the serum testosterone level, independent of the varicocele grade.