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What is a varicocele?

You may have a varicocele if you notice that you have enlarged veins within your scrotum. A varicocele is caused by blood that cannot move from the veins out of the scrotum. Instead, this blood remains in the veins and causes this enlargement of the veins within your scrotum.

In many men, a varicocele may not present any problems at all. However, in others there can be discomfort and even pain.

How do we diagnose a varicocele?

A consultation and examination in clinic is essential to diagnose a varicocele. This consultation and assessment will be with one our specialist Urologists.

A varicocele is usually diagnosed by inspection of your scrotum. An ultrasound examination may also be performed.

This assessment will take around twenty to thirty minutes including an explanation of your condition and recommendations on how to treat the varicocele.

You may find that no treatment is recommended at all. Not all varicoceles need to be treated. However, if your varicocele does require surgery we will be able to help.

Varicocele surgery

The procedure to treat a varicocele is performed under general anaesthetic, this means you will be asleep throughout the whole procedure. It was take around one hour and you will be able to go home on the same day.

During the surgery, the Urologist will redirect the blood flow from the vein that is enlarged and redirect blood flow to other veins. This is performed through a very small incision.

After Varicocele Surgery

You should arrange some time off work , depending on the type of work that you do. If your job is not physical then up to one week off is usually sufficient. You must avoid sporting activities, gym and all sexual activity for around six weeks. It will take about six weeks for everything to heal.

You will have some pain and discomfort after the surgery. This is usually well controlled by pain relief medication that will be given to you upon discharge from the hospital. You will also take a course of antibiotics for one week.

You will need to avoid taking baths for a couple of weeks until the healing process is well underway. take showers at first. Don’t drive until you are comfortable sitting at the wheel, this may take a few days.

In most cases dissolvable stitches are used which will fall out on their own. Do not be tempted to pull them out. Let them fall out on their own. You may have some swelling and bruising of the scrotum at first, this is perfectly normal and to be expected. You can apply an ice pack to help with swelling in the first week. Apply the ice pack for ten minutes at time. Make sure that you do not apply ice directly to the kin, Wrap the ice in a paper towel first.

The next step

If you think you may have a varicocele that is causing you pain and discomfort, then get in touch with us today. We can arrange a consultation with one of our specialist Urologists in a clinic near you, to confirm a diagnosis and discuss your treatment options.

Get In Touch

Contact us to arrange a consultation and find out more about your options regarding varicoceles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Many men have a varicocele that does not cause them any problems at all. If you are experiencing pain and discomfort in your scrotum , it may need to be treated. If you are concerned about enlarged veins in your scrotum, it would be best to get it checked by a Urologist. In any event you can be assured that they are not dangerous.

We perform varicocele surgery under general anaesthetic. This means you will asleep for the procedure and feel no pain.

This procedure is performed by one of our Specialist Urologists. It is a very common procedure that Urologists see in their daily practice. At Moorgate Andrology both Dr Nenad Djakovic and Dr Gerasimos Fragkoulis perform varicocele surgery.

Yes. Finance can be arranged for varicocele surgery. Finance is available with no deposit and flexible repayment terms. It is easy to apply for the finance for varicocele surgery. Just contact one of our Patient Co-ordinators and they will guide you every step of the way. The application is easy and done online with instant decisions in most cases.

You should arrange to take some time off work. If your job is sedentary then around three to four days off work may be enough. If you have a more physical job then you may need a week off. You should rest for the first few days.

A varicocele is caused by blocked veins that do not allow the blood to flow freely. This causes the veins to become blocked up. This in turn causes the bulging of the veins that you can see in your scrotum.

Sometimes anti-inflammatory drugs can help in reducing inflammation caused by the blockages in the vein. If you have pain or discomfort, then anti-inflammatory medication can be an option. At the end of the day this will not get rid of the varicocele.

You can proceed with sexual activity with a varicocele. However, if you have pain and discomfort these can have an impact on how you feel. In some cases men put off sexual activity due to the embarrassment of the protruding veins in the scrotum, but it does not mean that the varicocele will have any negative impact from usual sexual function

There is evidence to support that a varicocele can have an impact on your sperm. It is possible to have decreased sperm amount, decreased motility of sperm and an increase in the number of sperm that is deformed. If you feel that this is affecting you then you should seek the advice of a Urologist.