OVERVIEW

The varicocele is the dilation of the veins of the testicle, in other words, they are varicose veins in the scrotum and is one of the main causes of testicular pain and infertility in men.

The reasons for performing a varicocele ligation are:

  • Testicular pain associated with the presence of varicocele
  • Male infertility associated with the presence of a varicocele

This surgery is indicated when other measures such as pharmacological treatment have failed.

Benefits of laparoscopic varicocele ligation

By ligating the veins of the testicle, new veins are formed from the lymphatic channels, this helps the venous congestion of the testicle to improve, relieve pain and improve sperm production.

When performed by laparoscopy, varicocele ligation is a surgery that offers rapid recovery and little postoperative pain.

Risks and complications

The possible complications that can arise when performing a laparoscopic varicocele ligation are the same that can occur in general with any surgical procedure and these are: hemorrhage, damage to nearby organs, reactions to anesthesia, etc. However, these complications occur infrequently and can be resolved mostly during the same surgery.

After surgery, some scrotal swelling may occur, this is temporary as new veins form and it takes 3-6 weeks to remove.

The risk of conversion to open surgery is low, (<5%), this may be due to difficulty in dissection or hemorrhage and is done to maintain patient safety.

Alternatives to laparoscopic varicocele ligation

Other options to treat varicocele are analgesics, anti-inflammatory, use of scrotal support (i.e. jockstrap) and open surgery.

What to expect from laparoscopic varicocele ligation?

Day of surgery:

The day of the operation will arrive in the morning to the hospital in fasting.

The surgery lasts approximately 1-2 hours; however, this time is variable.

Anesthesia for this procedure is general, so you will be unconscious during surgery.

Pain after laparoscopic varicocele ligation is minimal and can be effectively controlled with intravenous analgesics.

Food: on the day of surgery you can eat in the afternoon, there are no food restrictions, however, a balanced diet is recommended.

Physical activity: the same day of surgery you can walk in the afternoon. It is expected to feel a bit fatigued after any surgery, this problem resolves spontaneously a few weeks after the laparoscopic varicocele ligation.

Hospital stay: Most patients who undergo laparoscopic varicocele ligation stay for a few hours and can go home the same day or the following day.

Wounds: laparoscopic varicocele ligation requires 3 small incisions in the lower abdomen (each 1 cm or less), once they heal completely, these scars can rarely be seen.