Open clipping/tying of varicocele

What is this?

This involves tying or clipping the testicular veins causing the varicocele swelling in the scrotum through an incision in the groin

What alternatives are there?

Observation, radiological embolisation, laparoscopic surgery

What to expect before procedure

You will usually be admitted on the same day as your surgery. You will normally receive an appointment for pre-assessment, approximately 14 days before your admission, to assess your general fitness, to screen for the carriage of MRSA and to perform some baseline investigations. After admission, you will be seen by members of the medical team which may include the Consultant, Specialist Registrar, House Officer and your named nurse. You will be asked not to eat or drink for 6 hours before surgery and, immediately before the operation, you may be given a pre-medication by the anaesthetist which will make you dry-mouthed and pleasantly sleepy.

What happens during the procedure?

Normally, a full general anaesthetic will be used and you will be asleep throughout the procedure. In some patients, the anaesthetist may also use an epidural anaesthetic which improves or minimises pain post-operatively. The operation is normally performed on the left side through a small incision in or just above the groin. Absorbable sutures are used which do not require removal.

After the procedure

You may experience discomfort for a few days after the procedure but painkillers will be given to you to take home. Absorbable stitches are normally used which do not require removal. The average hospital stay is 2 days although, If you feel comfortable, you may be able to return home on the same day as the operation.

Potential side effects