Incidental finding of a congenital unilateral absence of the vas deferens during robotic inguinal hernia repair: missing a crucial landmark. A case report

K. Pauwaert, F. Muysoms*, M. Dewulf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction We report on a case of congenital unilateral atresia of the vas deferens encountered during a robotic-assisted transabdominal preperitoneal (TAPP) inguinal hernia repair. Case report Our 65-years-old male patient was scheduled for a bilateral robotic-assisted TAPP inguinal hernia repair because of bilateral symptomatic groin hernia. Standard intraoperative dissection obtaining a critical view of the myopectineal orifice did not allow for an identification of the vas deferens (VD) on the left side. On the right side, a normal VD was identified. There was no suspicion of an intraoperative lesion or ligation of the VD. Both gonadal and inferior epigastric vessels were present on both sides. Upon clinical evaluation, no VD was palpable in the scrotum on the left side. The diagnosis of a congenital unilateral absence of the vas deferens was made. Additional abdominal computed tomography scan revealed a congenital agenesis of the left kidney, ureter, vesicula seminalis and vas deferens. Discussion The accidental finding of a congenital absence of the vas deferens during inguinal hernia repair is rare. However, surgeons performing inguinal hernia repair should be aware of this condition and the clinical implications it poses, as this could prevent unnecessary exploration and missed diagnosis of associated underlying conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
JournalActa Chirurgica Belgica
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Feb 2022


  • Congenital unilateral absence of the vas deferens
  • renal agenesis
  • robotic surgery
  • Inguinal hernia repair
  • case report

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