Home Care After Surgery
This handout tells you how to take care of yourself when you go home after varicocele surgery.
What to Expect after Surgery
1. For about 2 to 3 days, you will feel
discomfort at the incision and in the
affected side of your scrotum. Pain
medicine will be prescribed for you
or you may use over-the-counter
medicine such as Tylenol . Take
your pain medicines as directed by
your doctor. After about 3 days, the
pain should lessen.
2. You may notice increased swelling
in your scrotum. This swelling may
last for about a week.
3. Do not drive for 24 hours after your
surgery or while taking pain
medicines, as your judgment and
reflexes may not be normal even
though you may feel fine.
4. During your recovery, your body will
be using energy to heal itself. You
might easily become tired. This
fatigue will gradually decrease, but
you need to rest when you become
5. You can start taking your usual
medicines again after surgery, unless
you are using aspirin, ibuprofen or
blood thinners. You will need to
check with your doctor before you
start these medicines again.
6. Sometimes redness, warmth, or
soreness occurs at the IV
(Intravenous) site. This can be
relieved by putting a warm wet
washcloth on the site 4 times a day.
Call your doctor or nurse if this does
not get better in 1-2 days or if it gets
1. Leave your dressing on for 24 hours.
After 24 hours, take it off and leave
the incision open to the air. There
will be steri-strips covering your
incision. These will fall off on their
own in 1 – 2 weeks. If clothing
irritates your incision, put a clean,
dry 4 x 4 gauze pad over it.
2. Keep your incision clean and dry for
24 hours. You may shower after 24
hours. Do not soak in a bathtub,
whirlpool, hot tub, and do not swim
for 1 week.
3. Check your incision daily. Call your
doctor if you notice any of these
Skin around incision is red and
Pus-like drainage comes from
Temperature is over 100.5º F for
two readings taken 4 hours apart.
Incision site is painful after 5
Bleeding is excessive (the
dressing becomes soaked within
Scrotum swelling lasts longer
than 5 days.
For the first 2 weeks, do not lift more
than 10 pounds. Do light exercise,
no jogging, aerobics, running,
jumping, or heavy housework until
your doctor gives you the okay. You
may climb stairs if you go slowly.
You should slowly increase your
activity, building rest times into each
Bend from the knees, not the waist,
when picking something up. Keep
your back straight. Grab the object
you want to lift firmly with both
hands and hold it close to your body.
Straighten your knees, use your leg
muscles to evenly support the weight
of the object.
You need to talk with your surgeon
about returning to work.
Sexual activity can be resumed when
you are feeling physically able, but
If you are having any pain at the
incision it means too much stress or
straining against the
1. Do not drink alcohol for 24 hours after
your surgery or while taking narcotic
2. After your surgery, if you feel sick to
your stomach, do not eat a full meal.
Start out slowly with clear liquids, like
tea, broth, or jello. You may add more
solid foods to your diet as your nausea
3. You can return to your usual diet as soon
as you are ready. Your diet should
include fruits, vegetables, and plenty of
It is important to avoid constipation as it
may cause strain on the incision. You
should have a bowel movement within 2-3
days after surgery. Along with diet, you can
use Milk of Magnesia or Metamucil® to help
with constipation. Patients often have
constipation after surgery due to the
medicines used during and after surgery. To
prevent constipation we recommend you
start taking an over-the-counter stool
softener or laxative such as Colace®,
docusate, pericolace or senna, or Miralax®
per specific instructions, for about 2 weeks
after surgery. However, stop taking if you
When to Call your Doctor
Pain is not made better by rest, ice
Scrotum swelling lasts longer than 5
Increased redness, swelling,
discharge, or drainage from your
Excessive bleeding from incision
(the dressing becomes soaked within
You have trouble or not able to
Increased bleeding or blood clots in
Burning or pain with urination that
does not improve after increasing
Fever above 100º F.
Your follow-up visit will be made for you
before you leave.
Please Note: If your doctor has given you
other instructions, please follow those
Call if you have any questions or problems.
Monday - Friday 8:00am-4:30pm call:
Nights and Weekends: The clinic number
will connect you the hospital paging
operator. Ask for the Urology Resident on
call. Give the operator your name and
phone number with the area code. The
resident will call you back.
If you live out of the area, please call
Your medical record number
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 3/2017. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4620.