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Postoperative Care for Varicocelectomy

The below instructions are general guidelines. Specific changes or instructions for your child may differ. Please follow instructions given to you by your surgeon and CHOC Urology staff.

Varicocele renderingVaricocele is a condition in which varicose veins develop around the testes. It is a common condition found in adolescent males and sometimes requires surgical correction.Varicocelectomy repairs are surgical procedures done on an outpatient basis at CHOC. Patients arrive at the hospital in the morning and go home in the afternoon. It is normal for there to be some notable swelling and/or bruising in the inguinal and scrotal area after surgery.


Patients start with clear liquids then progress to a regular diet as tolerated. The anesthesia can cause some stomach discomfort, nausea and a fever 24 to 48 hours after surgery.

Pain Medicine

Patients may be home with Tylenol #3 to be taken as needed for pain. Most children need it for one to three days. If the patient is prescribed Tylenol #3 (with codeine) tablet or elixir, please try to give it to the patient as little as possible because codeine can cause constipation and this can be painful for him. Miralax is an over the counter stool softener and can be used to relieve constipation if it occurs. Try to use ibuprofen (also known as Motrin or Advil) instead of the Tylenol #3. Do not take Tylenol #3 and Tylenol at the same time – this can be an overdose and is harmful. If needed, ibuprofen and ONE Tylenol product can be taken within the same time period.

Crushed ice in a sandwich baggie place over underwear can help reduce swelling and pain. Never apply ice directly to the skin.

Dressing Instructions

Often there is an abdominal incision (about one inch across) and it is covered with a dressing. This dressing normally falls off on its own within the first few days. There will also be a gray flaky substance (glue) called Dermabond placed over the stitches. The glue and the stitches will fall off on their own in about two weeks. Please do not pick off the glue or the stitches.

Bathing Instructions

Children may begin bathing 24 hours after surgery, but please avoid vigorous scrubbing at the incision area.

Activity Restrictions

For two weeks after the surgery the child should avoid trauma to the surgical area. This includes no rough-housing, contact sports, bicycle riding or physical education. At the follow-up appointment (about one week after surgery), we will provide more specific directions as to when it is safe to return to activities. Swimming is acceptable one week after surgery. It may be useful to wear tighter jock-type underwear after surgery to add support to the scrotum and reduce swelling.