Varicoceles are large, twisted veins that drain blood from the testicles. They are much like varicose veins of the leg. Most often, they occur after puberty on the left side of the scrotum. Once a varicocele is present, it will not go away on its own.
The testicle on the side with the varicocele may be smaller in size than the one on the opposite side. The affected testicle may not grow well and may not produce good sperm when it is time. The scrotum (sac) may appear swollen.
A variety of surgical methods are available for varicocelectomy. These include minimally invasive procedures, such as laparoscopic varicocelectomy and transvenous percutaneous embolization, and the traditional open surgical approach (retroperitoneal, inguinal and subinguinal). The current standard of care is to perform open surgical varicocele repair with microscopic assistance to minimize possible complications.
After varicocelectomy, pain medication is prescribed. Patients should avoid physically strenuous activities for 4 weeks. No bathing for 5 days after the surgery, mild showers are allowed. A follow-up office visit should be scheduled.
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