A varicocele is an enlargement of the veins in your scrotum. Varicocelectomy is a surgery performed to remove those enlarged veins. The procedure is done to restore proper blood flow to your reproductive organs.
When a varicocele develops in your scrotum, it can block blood flow to the rest of your reproductive system. The scrotum is the sac that contains your testicles. Because blood can’t return to your heart through these veins, blood pools in the scrotum and the veins become abnormally large. This can decrease your sperm count.
Varicoceles occur in about 15 percent of adult men and 20 percent of teen males. They don’t usually cause any discomfort or symptoms. If the varicocele doesn’t cause pain or discomfort, your doctor may suggest leaving it as is to avoid the risks of surgery.
Varicoceles often appear on the left side of your scrotum. Varicoceles on the right side are more likely to be caused by growths or tumors. If you develop a varicocele on the right side, your doctor may want to perform a varicocelectomy, as well as remove the growth.
Infertility is a common complication of a varicocele. Your doctor may recommend this procedure if you want to have a child but are having trouble conceiving. You may also want to undergo this procedure if you’re experiencing any side effects of decreased testosterone production, such as weight gain and reduced sex drive.
Varicocelectomy is an outpatient procedure. You’ll be able to go home the same day.
Before the surgery:
When you arrive for surgery:
The most common procedure is a laparoscopic varicocelectomy. Your surgeon performs this surgery using several small incisions, and a laparoscope with a light and camera to see inside your body. Your surgeon might perform an open surgery, which uses one large incision to allow your surgeon to see inside your body without a camera.
To perform a laparoscopic varicocelectomy, your surgeon will:
Surgery takes about one to two hours.
Afterward, you’ll be placed in a recovery room until you wake up. You’ll spend about one to two hours recovering before your doctor clears you to go home.
During your recovery at home, you’ll need to:
Avoid the following activities until your doctor says you can resume them:
See your doctor right away if you notice any of the following:
This procedure can help increase fertility by restoring blood flow to your scrotum, which can result in increased sperm and testosterone production.
Your doctor will perform a semen analysis to see how much your fertility improves. Varicocelectomy often results in a 60–80 percent improvement in semen analysis results. Instances of pregnancy after varicocelectomy often rise anywhere from 20 to 60 percent.
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