Varicocele Surgery Recovery Time: What You Need to KnowFertility Treatment
Varicocele is an abnormal enlargement of a blood vessel inside the scrotum which can reduce sperm count, change the shape of the sperms, and reduce their motility.
As one of the main reasons for infertility in men, varicocele should be treated in time and by the hands of a specialist. Varicocele surgery also called varicocelectomy and varicose vein surgery is a surgical procedure through which the swollen part of a damaged vessel in the scrotum is cut off so that the blood can flow just as normal in the reproductive organs.
What Is Varicocele Surgery?
Varicocelectomy is a surgical treatment specifically designed to eliminate varicocele, especially if it causes pain, dry skin, and infertility. In varicocele surgery, the damaged vein is either closed or cut, so that the blood is directed to healthy arteries.
Varicocele surgery improves sperm quality, increases sperm and testosterone production, and reduces the pain caused by inflammation in arteries. In general, there are three types of varicocele surgery; open, laparoscopic, and microsurgical.
General Care after Varicocele Surgery
In the following, some of the general care after varicocele surgery is mentioned:
- Although you will be discharged on the day of the surgery, ask someone to be your caregiver in the hospital for a couple of hours;
- Take painkillers and antibiotics as prescribed;
- Use a protective sac to protect the testicles;
- Use an ice pack to prevent swelling;
- About six hours after the operation, you can have drinks;
- Movements should be limited in the first 24 hours after surgery;
- Avoid strenuous activities for the first two weeks after the surgery; and
- After two or three weeks, you can exercise but not in a way that causes recurrence of varicocele.
Continue reading to get more information on other varicocelectomy aftercare.
How to Sleep after Varicocele Surgery?
After varicocele surgery, it is better to sleep on your back. Do not raise your leg during sleep and put sleeping pillows under your knees to reduce the pressure. After two weeks, your veins will be healed and you can sleep in whatever position you desire.
Showering after Varicose Vein Surgery
It is recommended not to take shower for 48 hours after varicocele surgery. After this period, first, remove the protective sac and bandages, then wash your body with warm water and soap. When bathing, do not sit down and be careful not to scrub your incision site.
What to Eat to Ensure Faster Recovery after Varicocele Surgery?
After varicocele surgery, you may have stomachache and nausea, that’s why it is suggested not to eat hard food for six hours after the surgery. From the day after the surgery, you can have low-fat foods, yogurt, cereal, rice, fruit and vegetable, and bread.
By the time your stomach is upset, do not have dishes that heighten your constipation and bloating such as processed foods, red meat, fried foods, vegetables like cabbage and broccoli, and iron supplement. Also, avoid caffeine and alcoholic beverages for a week after the operation.
Exercising after Varicocelectomy
For the first two weeks after varicocelectomy, do not push, pull, and lift objects more than five kilograms. Activities that will strain or apply pressure on your testicle such as biking, running, mountain climbing, Pilates, aerobics, and weight-lifting should be avoided for about a month after the surgery. However, you can go for a walk now and then until your veins are fully recovered.
Having Sex After Varicocele Surgery
Sexual activity after varicocele surgery is not allowed until your wounds are completely healed and your pain is gone. In most cases, the patient should wait at least three weeks before he can have sexual intercourse.
Taking Medication after Varicocelectomy
After varicocelectomy, the doctor prescribes painkillers such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and Advil to relieve your pain as well as antibiotics to prevent infection. Most patients need to take sedatives for three days; however, keep in mind that, taking these drugs can cause constipation and other digestive problems.
So, the surgeon may prescribe laxatives such as bisacodyl and methylcellulose to increase your bowel movement. Moreover, as you may have postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV), you may need to take anti-nausea pills for a couple of days.
In some cases, where the reason for performing varicocelectomy is fertility problems, the doctor may prescribe some medications and supplements to treat infertility as well.
Getting Back to Work after Varicocele Surgery
Depending on the type of surgery and the difficulty of your job, it may take one to three weeks for you to get back to work. Patients who undergo laparoscopic and microsurgical varicocelectomy have a shorter recovery period and can return to work a week after the operation. However, if you have a demanding job that requires too much physical exertion, you need to wait a month before getting back to work.
Removing Bandages and Sutures after Varicose Vein Surgery
In open varicose vein surgery, an incision is made on the abdomen and a bandage is placed on the sutures after the operation. This bandage will fall by itself a few days after the surgery. Also, the stitches used in this surgery will be either absorbed or pulled out by your doctor about a week after the operation, so, it is important not to remove them by yourself.
Possible Side Effects of Varicocele Surgery
Just like other surgical procedures, varicocele has short-term and long-term side effects. Usually, the doctor will inform his patient of the possible complications of the surgery in the consultation session. Along with the side effects of anesthesia, varicocele surgery has some possible side effects such as:
- It may not improve semen parameters or increase the chances of fertility;
- In rare cases, a varicocele may recur due to the enlargement of small blood vessels missed during the surgery;
- Hydrocele (accumulation of fluid in the scrotum) is the most common complication of varicocelectomy that occurs in 10 to 15% of patients. Although in most cases this problem eliminates without surgical treatment, sometimes the patient will need to undergo another surgery to drain the fluid;
- In some rare cases, the vas deferens may get injured after varicocelectomy. In such a situation, another surgery is needed;
- Blood clot. When a vessel bleeds after varicocele surgery, the body will form a blood clot to stop the bleeding. However, the body will absorb it after a short period, and performing another surgery is not needed;
- In some patients, the pain in the groin gets chronic;
- There are several small nerves in vas deferens that are extended to the groin and scrotum. After the surgery, the scrotal sac and the inner part of the tights may be numb for some weeks due to the severance of these nerves; and
- The testicular may shrink because some blood vessels have been cut and blood flow in the reproductive organ has been limited.
To sum up, varicocelectomy is a surgical treatment for varicocele that is mainly done under general anesthesia. Although this operation is simple and has a short recovery period, its postoperative cares are important and can affect the result of the surgery.
Raadina Team can help you choose the most suitable and affordable package for varicocelectomy in Iran. Our packages include applying for a medical Visa, booking doctor’s appointments, booking hotels and accommodations near the hospital, arranging the transfer, etc.
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