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Urology/after surgery possible complications?


QUESTION: Hello, I am a 19 year old male with bilateral varicocele. Will I get nerve damage from varicocelectomy? I am only scare that I will get this problem. How does a doctor perform this surgery damage the nerves? I hope that the doctor won't do any mistakes and that 1% won't occur to me.....

ANSWER: Brian:

Nerve damage from varicocele is unlikely and uncommon but not impossible.  It's not due to any doctor "mistakes" but from the anatomy and from the particular technique used. Since the nerves to the testicle pass through the spermatic cord and the cord is where the varicocele is, it is certainly possible to inadvertently cause an injury.  Talk to your urologist about his experience in this surgery and the results, complications, etc.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: thanks for reply, i had the surgery last Friday. Everything went well in the surgery and no nerve damage occur during surgery. I had the varicocele grade 3 before the surgery on the left and grade 2 on the right. After the surgery there are still some bulging veins left or can be called as grade 1. Is it possible that the doctor miss up some "bad" veins? But it looks like the pain on the RIGHT scrotum of mine has reduce a lot, whereas the LEFT side still have some pain. And lastly, will lifting weights is safe for me after resting for 3 months? P. S . I need to know this faster because i will only revisit the doctor next Friday which is quite far away and busy with my University assignments coming up recently.

Thank you for reading, you have been a great help.


It is unlikely that the doctor missed any veins, but new veins will pop up after the surgery since the flow to those veins has been disrupted.  Lifting weights after a suitable period should be OK, but check with your surgeon because my advice on this issues doesn't count; only your surgeon's opinion counts.


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Stephen W. Leslie, MD


Questions concerning erectile dysfunction, kidney stones and prostate disorders including prostate cancer. I have a special interest in kidney stone disease prevention.


Full time practicing urologist with 30 years experience. Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of Urology at Creighton University Medical Center. Editor in Chief of eMedicine Urology internet textbook. Author of only NIH approved book written for patients by a urologist on the subject of kidney stones "The Kidney Stones Handbook". Inventor of the "Parachute" and "Escape" kidney stone baskets and the "Calculus" stone prevention analysis computer program.

American Urological Association, Ohio State Medical Association, Sexual Medicine Society

Men's Health, Journal of Urology, Urology, Healthwatch Magazine, Emergency Medicine Monthly, eMedicine, "The Kidney Stones Handbook", and numerous articles in various newspapers. He is also the editor of the Urology Board Review by McGraw-Hill used by urologists to study for their Board Certification Examinations.

Graduate of New York Medical College with residencies completed at Metropolitan Hospital New York, Albany Medical Center and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Awards and Honors
Thirlby Award of the American Urological Association. Rated as one the country's Best Urologists by the Independent Consumer's Research Institute

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