Should I have surgery to repair a varicocele?

Last updated on October 6, 2020


Hello sir,

I’ve gone to the doctor and was diagnosed with a varicocele in my left testicle. I wanted to ask if I should get surgery immediately or if it’s a serious issue. I’ve done some research and have found out that testicular varicocele can lead to male infertility or if the testicle is too damaged, it has to be removed and that’s a big concern for me. But I’ve also seen that surgery doesn’t always work out for people and the varicocele may even reoccur. I’m contemplating on getting the surgery because I have seen that it is expensive. I don’t know if I should go through it.


Your veins contain miniature valves that act as one-way gates. When your heart beats it pushes blood through the gates, back toward the heart. As it gears up for another beat, the values keep gravity from pulling the blood back down. A varicocele is when some of the valves in the veins inside your scrotum fail. The veins get swollen. Some describe as feeling like you have “worms” in your scrotum. It usually hurts because the veins are getting stretched.

The concern regarding fertility is that with the blood pooling down by the testicle, it can keep the testicle too warm and decrease its ability to produce sperm. Most men with varicocele remain fertile, so surgery is generally only recommended if there are indications that your sperm is being affected, if there is pain, or if the varicocele is large. I assume one or more of these are true if the doctor is recommending surgery.

The surgery will repair the damaged veins, but doctors can’t guarantee that other values won’t fail later. After all, if you have problems with the values, the odds of having additional problems is higher.

From what I’ve read, it appears that having the surgery during adolescence is better than waiting until you are a full adult.