Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Varicocele Repair Surgery

Varicocele Repair Surgery

Surgery Overview

A varicocele (say "VAR-uh-koh-seel") is a large vein that forms in one or both sides of the scrotum. The blood builds up, or pools. This makes the vein larger than normal. To fix the problem, your doctor may tie off the veins.

A varicocele may be related to poor sperm quality. This may cause problems with fertility. The doctor can do one of several types of surgery. After the surgery, sperm quality may improve. This may help with fertility. The surgery may also be done to reduce pain in the scrotum.

The doctor may look through a microscope to see better during the surgery. The doctor makes small cuts in your groin. These cuts are called incisions. Or your doctor may choose to use a laparoscope. To do this type of surgery, the doctor puts a lighted tube, or scope, and other surgical tools through small cuts in your belly. The doctor is able to see with the scope. The surgery also can be done through a vein in the leg if the veins are being blocked rather than tied off.

You may be able to go home a few hours after the surgery. For 2 weeks after your surgery, avoid any heavy lifting or intense exercise. You will probably be able to go back to work or your normal routine in 2 to 3 days. This depends on your job. If your job involves a lot of activity or lifting, ask your doctor when you can go back to work.

What To Expect

What To Expect

Varicocele repair is most often done on an outpatient basis. You can expect to go home within a few hours of a routine varicocele surgery.

You should be able to resume light work duties 1 to 2 days after surgery and full intense activities after 2 weeks or when your doctor says you are ready.

Why It Is Done

Why It Is Done

Varicocele repair is typically done if the pain doesn't go away or isn't relieved with treatment. And it is done to improve fertility if you have both a varicocele and impaired sperm.

How Well It Works

How Well It Works

For those who have abnormal sperm and varicoceles that are large enough to be felt in the scrotum, research shows that surgery may increase pregnancy rates compared to not having treatment.footnote 1



Risks of a varicocele repair include:

  • Infection at the site of surgery.
  • Fluid buildup in the scrotum (hydrocele) that requires draining or another surgery.
  • Injury to the arteries to the testicle. This can cause the testicle to shrink.



  1. Persad E, et al. (2021). Surgical or radiological treatment for varicoceles in subfertile men. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 4(4): CD000479. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000479.pub6. Accessed March 9, 2023.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna


Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

The Cigna Group Information

About Cigna Healthcare Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers The Cigna Group Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap Cookie Settings


Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of South Carolina, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of Texas, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details