Varicocele Treatment Options
Often, varicoceles are not treated. Treatment is offered for males who have:
Fertility problems (problems fathering a child)
The left testicle growing more slowly than the right
Boys with a smaller left testicle are thought to have a higher risk for fertility problems when they are older.
The impact of varicocele repair on fertility isn’t clear at the moment. Some studies have shown fertility improves after varicocele repair while other studies are inconclusive. Semen quality improves in 6 out of 10 infertile men after varicocele repair. This treatment should be considered along with other fertility treatment choices.
In teenagers, where the main reason for surgery is slow testicular growth, catch-up growth occurs in 8 out of 10 patients.
There are no drugs to treat or prevent varicoceles. But painkillers (such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen) can help to manage pain.
When required, surgery is the main form of treatment for varicocele. There are many ways to provide varicocele surgery. All methods involve blocking the blood flow in the pampiniform plexus veins. For an overview of the surgical treatment see the video below:
To find out more about varicocele treatment, please contact our patient co-ordination team on 02031312933 or read our Frequently Asked Questions below.
Varicocele surgery Frequently Asked Questions
How long does the operation take?
All our varicocele correction surgeries are day care and take between 1 and 2 hours of operating time. This means that the whole process (from admission to discharge from the clinic) takes roughly 6 hours, after which you may leave the clinic.
Do I need general anaesthesia?
Yes, the operation is performed under general anaesthesia. Modern day care surgery requires light anaesthesia and since our operations are minimally invasive, it is very unlikely that there will be any complications.
You are put to sleep just before the operation starts and wake up just after the surgeon finishes, so in total you will be under anaesthesia for around 2 hours.
How long do I need to stay in the hospital for?
After the operation you will need to stay in hospital for 3-4 hours. During this time you will be attended by our nurse, be provided with something to eat, monitored by your surgeon and once these checks are complete, be ready to leave. You will be able to walk and function normally, usually with very little pain or discomfort.
I am travelling from abroad – how long do I need to stay for follow up after my surgery?
The day after your operation, you will have a follow up appointment in our office consultation with your surgeon to check on your recovery progress. After this and if your doctor gives you the all clear, most patients can travel.
What do I need to do to prepare for the operation?
Nothing , although following a healthy lifestyle (in terms of diet, exercise, smoking and alcohol consumption) the preceding month is advised since this will assist in your recovery. You will be provided with detailed fasting instructions to follow 6 hours before the surgery. However, if you have fallen ill or there are any other recent health concerns, make sure you inform your patient co-ordinator as soon as possible so as to evaluate whether the surgery would can proceed. If there are any other tasks required to do pre-operatively, your doctor will inform you during your consultation.
What is the cost of the surgical treatment?
Surgical treatment costs will depend on the type of operation, the medical items required and the specific circumstances of each patient. Following your consultation and if you are a candidate for a surgical treatment, an all inclusive cost will be quoted (covering medical material, hospital fees, anaesthetist fees and surgeon’s fee and follow up consultations).
As an indication, the all inclusive cost for varicocele surgery begins at £3500.
How experienced are your surgeons?
Our surgeons are focusing exclusively on male uro-genital surgery and each one performs on average more that 300 genital operations per month. In fact, we are an international referral centre and patients travel from all over the world for consultations and operations in our clinic.
Equally important is the fact that as an international network of andrology practices, we have developed very strict and state of the art surgical protocols and have monthly sessions during which our surgeons share their experiences and discuss difficult cases hence constantly sharing and improving surgical techniques.
What are your success rates?
We define our surgical success rate in two ways:
No major complications;
Complete repair of the varicocele.
Based on this criteria, our varicocele surgery success rate is more than 99%.
Do you have any patient testimonials?
Yes. We have extensive patient testimonials (published anonymously here) and we can also put you in contact with individual patients either via phone or email if you would like to know more about their surgical experience in our clinic.
What do I need to do after the surgery?
The day after your operation, you need to attend a consultation with your surgeon, during which he will give you detailed post-operative instructions, change your medical dressing and answer any questions that you might have.
After that and until your next in office consultation (usually a month later) your surgeon and our patient co-ordination team will be in close contact with you asking for regular updates and also addressing any concerns you might have.
How long do I need to take of work in order to have the surgery?
Most patients can return to next day after their operation assuming. If your work involves heavy physical activity, then you may need a bit longer off work.
How long after the surgery can I resume with sexual activity?
Sexual activity can resume 2-3 weeks after your surgery, unless your surgeon advises otherwise.
Will I experience pain after the operation?
Some mild pain can be expected but this can be countered with over the counter oral painkillers.