Prospective control trial: flexible CO(2)laser vs. monopolar electrocautery for robotic microsurgical denervation of the spermatic cord

GÜDELOĞLU A., Kattoor A. J., Brahmbhatt J., Parekattil S., Agarwal A.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF IMPOTENCE RESEARCH, vol.32, no.6, pp.623-627, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 32 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1038/s41443-020-00352-0
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Abstracts in Social Gerontology, EMBASE, Gender Studies Database, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.623-627
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Microsurgical denervation of the spermatic cord (MDSC) is a treatment option in patients with chronic orchialgia. This procedure requires precise care to avoid any thermal damage to crucial adjacent tissues (arteries, veins, and lymphatics). Monopolar electrocautery is the standard ligation energy source, but may cause extensive collateral damage to the tissues. However, CO(2)laser is known to produce a very predictable tissue penetration and minimal collateral spread. The goal of this study was to compare the extent of collateral thermal damage in both monopolar electrocautery and CO(2)laser ablation in the spermatic cord during a robotic assisted MDSC (RMDSC) procedure as well as the feasibility for utilizing the flexible fiber-optic CO(2)laser probe after "RMDSC" procedure. RMDSC was performed using standard monopolar electrocautery on the spermatic cord of one side of a fresh human male cadaver (randomly selected) and then compared to RMDSC using the CO(2)laser on the contralateral spermatic cord. Nine histological cross-sections from each cord were measured for depth of collateral thermal/cautery injury. The mean collateral thermal injury with CO(2)laser was 0.17 +/- 0.031 mm (range: 0.15-0.25 mm), and with standard electrocautery 0.72 +/- 0.046 mm (range: 0.60-0.75 mm). CO(2)laser resulted significantly less collateral thermal injury than standard electrocautery (p < 0.0001). The CO(2)laser probe was easy to manipulate with the Black Diamond micro-forceps (Intuitive Surgical, CA) and allowed for convenient tissue plane dissection. Human cadaveric targeted RMDSC using a flexible CO(2)laser energy results in significantly decreased collateral thermal injury compared to standard monopolar electrocautery. These initial findings suggest potential advantages of the CO(2)laser over traditional monopolar cautery in cases requiring minimal collateral tissue damage. Future studies are needed to assess its clinical potential in microsurgery.