A varicocele (say “VAR-uh-koh-seel”) is a large vein that forms in one or both testicles. The blood pools, making the vein larger than normal. To fix the problem, your doctor tied off the end of the vein so the blood will not pool. After surgery, you may have slight pain in your groin for 3 to 6 weeks. Your scrotum and groin may be bruised and swollen. This will go away in 3 to 4 weeks.
You will probably be able to return to work or your normal routine in 2 to 3 days after microscopic surgery, depending on your job. If your job involves intense activity or lifting, it may take a week or more before you can go back. If you had an open surgery, it may take longer to return to work and your normal routines. You may need to wear an athletic supporter (jockstrap) for about 2 weeks after the surgery or as your doctor instructs you.
Overall, recovery from varicocele surgery can take anywhere from one to two days for percutaneous embolization, two to four weeks for laparoscopic surgery, and three to six weeks for open surgery.
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The Recovery Time for Open Varicocele Surgery
Open varicocelectomy involves carrying out a number of incisions, cuts, and sutures on the scrotum. Due to this, it may take weeks to recover completely after the open varicocele surgery. After open varicocelectomy, you may experience pain and swelling in the scrotum for about 4-6 weeks.
And this is the recovery period for a complication-free recovery. If during the recovery, any post-operative infection or complication arises, this period may prolong even more. It can make your recovery more painful and uncomfortable.
Therefore, for 4-6 weeks after open varicocelectomy, you cannot go back to your normal routine, and this may cause a lot of inconvenience for you.
Short Recovery Time After Laparoscopic Varicocele Surgery
Laparoscopic varicocelectomy offers a comparatively much shorter recovery period. Since it is a minimally invasive procedure, no major cuts or stitches are involved and thus the post-operative recovery is almost as painless as the surgery itself.
It will surprise you to know that if you choose this laparoscopic varicocele surgery, you will recover completely in just a week. Yes, only 7 days and you are fit to go about your daily life routines. And if you have a sedentary job that does not involve much moving around, you may even be able to go back to it within 3-4 days.
You may experience some pain or swelling, but it will be almost negligible and that too will subside within a day or so.
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How Can You Care for Yourself at Home After a Varicocele Surgery?
. Lie down as much as you can for the first 24 hours. Rest when you feel tired. Getting enough sleep will help you recover.
. After the first day, try to walk each day. Start by walking a little more than you did the day before. Bit by bit, increase the amount you walk. Walking boosts blood flow and helps prevent pneumonia and constipation.
. Avoid strenuous activities, such as bicycle riding, jogging, weight lifting, or aerobic exercise, for about 3 weeks after the surgery or until your doctor says it is okay.
. For about 7 days after surgery, avoid lifting more than about 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms). This may include a child, heavy grocery bags and milk containers, a heavy briefcase or backpack, cat litter or dog food bags, or a vacuum cleaner.
. Ask your doctor when you can drive again.
. Most people are able to return to work 2 or 3 days after surgery. This depends on the type of work you do and how you feel. It may take up to a week or more.
. You may shower unless your doctor tells you not to. Pat the cut (incision) dry. Do not take a bath for about 5 days.
. Ask your doctor when it is okay for you to have sex.
. You can eat your normal diet. If your stomach is upset, try bland, low-fat foods like plain rice, broiled chicken, toast, and yogurt.
. You may notice that your bowel movements are not regular right after your surgery. This is common. Try to avoid constipation and straining with bowel movements. You may want to take a fibre supplement every day. If you have not had a bowel movement after a couple of days, ask your doctor about taking a mild laxative.
. Your doctor will tell you if and when you can restart your medicines. He or she will also give you instructions about taking any new medicines.
. If you take aspirin or some other blood thinner, ask your doctor if and when to start taking it again. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do.
. Take pain medicines exactly as directed.
. A small amount of thin, clear, pinkish fluid may drain from the incision. This will last for a few days after the surgery.
. You may gently wash the incision with warm, soapy water and pat it dry, unless your doctor gives you different instructions.
. If you have strips of tape on the incision, leave the tape on for a week or until it falls off.
. You will feel a hard ridge under your skin where the incision was made. This is normal. The ridge will gradually soften up and flatten out over 3 to 6 weeks.
. To help with pain, put ice or a cold pack on your groin for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin. Try to do this every 1 to 2 hours (when you are awake) for the first day after surgery.
Immediately reach out to your doctor if you experience this:
If you face high fever, chills, and constant pain in your groin area during your recovery, get immediate help from your specialist doctor.
Also, if you find your bandage soaked with blood after the open varicocele surgery, this calls for doctor’s help. This indicates an underlying condition that needs medical attention without any delays.