A varicocele (say "VAR-uh-koh-seel") is a large vein that forms in one or both testicles. The blood builds up, or pools. This makes the vein larger than normal. To fix the problem, your doctor ties off the end of the vein so the blood will not pool.
In some men, a varicocele may be related to poor sperm quality. This may make it hard to father a child. The doctor can do one of several types of surgery to improve a man's chance of having children. After the surgery, sperm quality may improve. This may help you father a child. The surgery may also be done to reduce pain in the scrotum.
The doctor may look through a microscope to see better during the surgery. He or she makes small cuts in your groin. These cuts are called incisions. Or your doctor may choose to use a laparoscope. To do this type of surgery, the doctor puts a lighted tube, or scope, and other surgical tools through small cuts in your belly. The doctor is able to see with the scope. The surgery also can be done through a vein in the leg.
Most men go home a few hours after the surgery. You will probably be able to go back to work or your normal routine in 2 to 3 days. This depends on your job. If your job involves a lot of activity or lifting, it may take a week or more before you can go back to work.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
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Current as of: March 20, 2018
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Christopher G. Wood MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology
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