A varicocelectomy is a surgical procedure performed to treat a condition called varicocele. A varicocele is an enlargement of the veins within the scrotum, which can lead to discomfort and fertility issues.
Who is Candidate for a Varicocelectomy?
Candidates for a varicocelectomy are patients affected by varicocele. This condition is observed in approximately 1 to 5 males in the United States and is often noticed during or shortly after puberty.
A varicocelectomy is recommended if you are experiencing symptoms such as pain, discomfort, or swelling in the scrotum.
Additionally, you may be a suitable candidate for this procedure if you desire to improve your chances of achieving pregnancy.
Advantages of Varicocelectomy
Some advantages of varicocelectomy include:
- Low risk of complications.
- Fertility Improvement
- Decrease of testicular pain.
- Positive impact on self-esteem.
- Varicocelectomy Step-by-Step
To perform this procedure, you will receive general anesthesia, which mean you’ll be asleep and won’t experience any pain during the procedure.
There a two common types of varicocelectomy surgery: microsurgical varicocelectomy and laparoscopic varicocelectomy.
Surgeons typically follow these steps according to the chosen technique:
After anesthesia takes effect, your surgeon will make a small incision in the lower groin area. The size of this incision is usually less than an inch.
Your surgeon will use a microscope to identify the dilated veins. After identifying them, the affected veins will be tied off or sealed to prevent the backflow of blood.
Then, your surgeon will ensure normal blood flow in the unaffected vessels.
The incision will be closed using sutures, and the surgical site may be covered with a sterile dressing to promote healing.
Microsurgical varicocelectomy usually takes between one and three hours to complete.
To perform a laparoscopic varicocelectomy your surgeon will make a few small incisions in the lower abdomen.
Through these incisions, your surgeon will pass a laparoscope, which is a thin tube with a camera at the end. Carbon dioxide will be pumped into your abdomen to make space to provide a better view and allow your surgeon to work.
Then, your surgeon will identify and isolate the varicocele veins. Once they’re isolated your surgeon will clip the affected veins to prevent blood flow. This will redirect blood through healthy veins, improving circulation in the scrotum.
To finalize the procedure, the incision will be closed with stitches.
Laparoscopic varicocelectomy usually takes 30 to 40 minutes.
Recovery After Surgery
Recovery may vary between patients. Generally, you may experience swelling and bruising in your groin and scrotum. These symptoms should disappear in three to four weeks.
Your doctor may prescribe you medication to alleviate the pain after surgery. You can also apply ice packs to the affected areas for up to 10 minutes.
You must also keep the area as clean as possible to prevent infection.
You’ll be able to go back to work in about a week after surgery and resume exercise in approximately two weeks.