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What is a Varicocele?
Varicocele is a common condition that occurs due to an enlargement of the veins in the scrotum. The testes (singular = testis) are a pair of ovoid male reproductive organs present inside the scrotum.
The veins in the scrotum are called the pampiniform plexus. In normal circumstances, you cannot see or feel the veins in the spermatic cord but if you have a varicocele, these veins become enlarged and noticeable. This condition is similar to the varicose veins (swollen, twisted veins) that you develop in your legs.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Varicocele surgery is performed by a urologist.
Varicocele surgery does not affect fertility, in fact, it improves the blood flow to the reproductive organs improving fertility.
The exact duration of the procedure will differ from the type of surgery performed. Generally, a varicocele surgery can take 1-2 hours.
The cost of varicocele surgery ranges from INR 25,000 to INR 40,000. Cost may vary on a case-to-case basis depending upon the procedure, complexities associated with the disease, institution, and geographical location.
Contact your doctor immediately if you experience the following:
- High fever with a temperature above 100°F
- Difficulty in urinating or emptying your bladder completely
- Vomiting or feeling nauseous
- Leg pain or swelling in the legs
- Severe pain in the site of the surgery that does come down with medications
- Swelling, redness, bleeding, or abnormal discharge from the site of the incision
Varicocele surgery is a safe procedure and complications are rare. A few of the possible risks include:
- Formation of hydroceles (fluid accumulation around the testicles)
- Bleeding from the surgery site
- Infection in the surgery site
- Injury to the veins in the scrotum
- Persistence (the problem remains) or recurrence (the condition occurs again) of the varicoceles
- Blood clots in the veins of the scrotum (thrombophlebitis)
Your doctor will schedule a follow-up visit around 2 weeks after the procedure to check for proper recovery. If the stitches need to be removed then the visit will be scheduled within 7 days after the surgery. A sample of the semen will be checked 3-4 months after the procedure to see if the number of sperms has improved. Spermatogenesis (the development of new sperm cells) takes roughly 72 days and testing any earlier may lead to false results.
The recovery period after the procedure depends on the type of surgery performed. Generally, you can get back to your normal activities in 2-3 weeks after the surgery. Recovery from open surgery can take 3-6 weeks. Those who have undergone percutaneous embolization can get back to normal activities in one or two days.
This is an outpatient procedure and you can return home on the same day. Therefore, you need to arrange for a friend or family member to drop you home after your procedure.