Nerve-sparing retroperitoneal lymph-node dissection (RPLND) maintains the patient's ability to ejaculate postoperatively. However, since testicular cancer patients sometimes have diminished spermatogenesis, questions have been raised as to the advisability of nerve preservation relative to ultimate fertility. Fertility status was assessed in clinical stage A patients by two methods. These included standard semen analysis and a post-RPLND survey. The results show that approximately 75% of nonseminomatous testicular cancer patients who present in clinical stage A have fertility potential as based on semen analysis. Additionally, of those patients responding to the post-RPLND survey who had attempted pregnancy following RPLND, 76% reported attainment of pregnancy. Nerve-sparing RPLND maintains fertility potential in clinical stage I patients; furthermore, this fertility potential appears to be worth preserving as many patients will be capable of impregnating their partners.
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