Adhering to your doctor’s post-surgery instructions can enhance your varicocele surgery recovery and help you reduce your risk for complications.
Potential varicocele surgery complications include infection at the surgery site, hydrocele formation i, and accidental testicular artery ligation. Many times, these complications can be treated with an additional varicocele surgery, but caring for yourself properly in the hours and days following treatment can help you get back to your daily routine even sooner and may also eliminate the need for another surgery.
Tips to Help Ensure A Save & Successful Varicocele Surgery Recovery
Here’s what you can do to help ensure you experience a safe and successful recovery after your varicocele surgery.
Your doctor may suggest that you rest and lie down for the first day after varicocele surgery, and if you must get up and walk around you should do so gently. ii As sitting and laying down for extended periods can increase your risk for blood clots, it’s a good idea to get up and walk around slowly every two to three hours after the initial rest day. iii
Allow your varicocele to heal by avoiding any heavy lifting, pushing, and pulling for at least one week after surgery. This may include heavy grocery bags, a vacuum cleaner or a heavy backpack.
Experiencing some swelling and discomfort after varicocele surgery is normal and to be expected. But elevating your scrotum can reduce swelling even further by improving blood flow and circulation to ease your discomfort. ii
Place a small pillow or towel under your scrotum while sitting or lying down for the first few days during varicocele surgery recovery to minimize swelling. Make sure your scrotum is elevated enough so your testicles are at about the same level as the front of your thighs. ii
Allow yourself to sleep whenever you feel tired for the first 24 to 48 hours after varicocele surgery. When you sleep, your brain releases hormones that promote the growth of new, healthy tissues, so you can recover fully from cuts and incisions. Your body also produces a higher number of white blood cells while you sleep that can help fight viruses and bacteria to reduce the risk for infection.
Aim to get a minimum of eight hours of sleep during the first two days of recovery, but don’t force yourself to get up and move around if you’re still feeling tired. Let your body heal itself naturally with sleep and benefit from reduced varicocele surgery recovery time.
The Possible Side Effects of Varicocele Surgery
Varicocele surgery may help relieve your symptoms but can sometimes have side effects that may or may not require additional treatment. For instance, some patients may continue to experience pain and discomfort even after having surgery.
Talk to your doctor about side effects of varicocele surgery, and make sure you fully understand your post-operative care instructions. Other tips that can help you experience a healthy varicocele surgery recovery include avoiding sexual activity and strenuous exercise for two weeks and caring for your incision properly to reduce the risk for infection. ii
Varicocele Embolization May Have More Advantages
Varicocele embolization is a nonsurgical option and a minimally invasive alternative to varicocele surgery. Varicocele embolization recovery time is shorter than surgery, so you can resume your normal daily activities the day or two following your procedure. Instead of making an incision to repair varicocele using surgery, your doctor will insert a needle followed by a small catheter, into your groin to access and repair the affected vein using x-ray technology. iv You may experience warmth and redness at the injection site following treatment but won’t have to worry about caring for an incision. iv
Azura Vascular Care offers varicocele embolization, so you can benefit from reduced pain and scarring and a shorter recovery time. Call 844-705-VEIN (8346) today to schedule an appointment with a vascular specialist.
i V. Flores, J. Wallen, D. Martinez, & R. Carrion. (2015). Deflate-gate: Conservative Management of a Large Ruptured Hydrocele. Urology Case Reports, volume 3, 198–200. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eucr.2015.08.002
ii Cleveland Clinic Foundation. (2013). Varicocele: Management and Treatment. Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15239-varicocele/management-and-treatment
iii Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Deep Vein Thrombosis (Blood Clots). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/features/deep-vein-thrombosis/index.html
iv John Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.) Varicocele Embolization. Retrieved from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/test_procedures/urology/varicocele_embolization_135,383