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Worry about varicocele...
An_241906 posted:
I've had a varicocele, had the surgery to get rid of it because of pain (scar on pubic area), but still have a "small" varicocele after the surgery that I can physically feel and has been confirmed via ultrasound. (No more pain though yeah!) I've now had this small varicocele for about seven years and it seems to be stable, not getting bigger, worse.
My question is: Because it's been "stable" so long does this increase my odds that it will continue to be stable? Or are my odds of it getting worse the same as they have always been? Just worries me sometimes that it would get worse, I know these things don't heal themselves, don't want the pain back. Would collateral veins increase my odds of it not getting worse? Thanks.

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If you have a varicocele did it get worse or remain stable?
  • It got worse.
  • It seems to be stable. (for at least 2 years)
  • It seems to be stable. (for at least 4 years)
  • It seems to be stable. (for at least 7 years)
  • It seems to be stable. (for more than 10 years)
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counterso responded:
Age is more a factor than history, so is injury. Your overall cardiovascular health declines with age, so not uncommon that varicose veins increase as cardio health declines. That it is relatively stable probably correponds to your overall cardio health being also relatively stable.

Depending on the method used to correct the problem, you may be more or less likely to have a recurrence. And if you have more physical activity (such as running or other sports) and aren't properly supported, you can aggravate the condition, even though it may be good for your overall cardio health.

It's probably a conversation to have with your urologist. Just pick up the phone and ask questions, since they know the specific circumstances of your situation and we do not.
quicksilverseven replied to counterso's response:
Is it possible that it may not get worse at all?...

I can't seem to find anything to support the idea that it may not get any worse.

Has anyone lived with one for years and it hasn't gotten worse?

counterso replied to quicksilverseven's response:
There have been people who have lived with a varicocele that has not changed in size for 20 years, however each person's body is different, and these things can change over a period of a week due to individual circumstances that are impossible to predict. The rule of thumb is, do not treat a varicocele until it becomes uncomfortable or painful. It's delicate surgery and can lead to undesirable complications, so best not to risk if not "necessary."
quicksilverseven replied to counterso's response:
Those surgery side effects are why I'm so worried about it getting worse and having to get the surgery again. The first one got rid of the pain but also caused some permanent numbness on that side. (I'd guess -1/3 sensation) Don't want to have the surgery again.
quicksilverseven replied to quicksilverseven's response:
Sorry, don't know how to edit last post:
So, 20 years best case scenario, or is it possible to be ok for longer than that / whole life / I'm 24? (I think I'm going to start running / cardiovascular health) Thanks again.
counterso replied to quicksilverseven's response:
Sorry, you cannot edit posts or delete them, only WebMD can.

This can be fine the rest of your life. It either will or will not change, whenever it does or doesn't, no predicting. Cardio exercise will not have an effect. It's more things like avoiding injury or forgetting to support the area when you're doing exercise so you don't directly contribute to stressing the area. About 1 in 7 men have varicoceles, not at all uncommon. Most live their entire lives without any kind of medical treatment.
quicksilverseven replied to counterso's response:
Wow, you have no idea how much stress I was going through thinking that it getting worse was inevitable. At least now I can hope it won't get worse. One last quick question... I wear boxers all these 7 years... should I be wearing briefs for support? the thickness of the scrotum on that side actually feels thicker, is this from more muscle forming to deal with the extra weight? If so maybe I should keep boxers so muscle stays there? Thanks!!!
counterso replied to quicksilverseven's response:
It's not muscle, just skin. Because the weight stretches the skin, when the skin retracts, it seems thicker, really there's just more of it.

Yes, you should be wearing more supportive underwear (elastic fabric briefs) if you have a varicocele. Regular Fruit of the Loom whities are probably not much better unless they're actually tight fitting. No reason to give it room to stretch the veins that are already weak. Like hanging any noodle, gravity will elongate it over time. If you like boxers, get some stretchy boxer briefs that actually hug your package to support it.
quicksilverseven replied to counterso's response:
Thanks, you've been a great help!
quicksilverseven replied to counterso's response:
Ok, been wearing boxer-briefs / briefs for a while now and things seem to be ok. However, I do have another question now. Because I've been focusing on the area more lately to determine if the tight underwear was working I've noticed that when I lay down the varicocele doesn't go away. It doesn't hurt but aren't these things supposed to shrink in size or go away when laying down? I was thinking its one of two things:

If it's been this way the whole time since my surgery and I just haven't noticed it till now maybe a lot of veins were cut and now it's like the blood from 3 arteries are only being retuned by one vein thus causing a lot of pressure regardless of laying down? Is this possible or would the veins "adjust" to send less blood "knowing" that their was only one vein to return blood? (this particular theory really bothers me, can this even happen)
The second thing I thought it might be is a hernia and my intestines are blocking the blood from returning?

I'm making a doctors appointment because the blood not returning when lying down is bothering me believing my first theory about 3 arteries and increased pressure due to fewer veins is the case.
Thanks again.
counterso replied to quicksilverseven's response:
No, your standing, sitting, lying position will not change the appearance of your varicocele.

A hernia would not block blood flow and would be a separate concern.

No, your body does not regulate blood flow based on surgery, and blood flow doesn't work the way you think it does (not localized).

It's most certainly time to have your urologist re-evaluate the situation by inspecting it.

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