oa South African Medical Journal - Left varicocele : a method of treatment

Volume 23, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



A right-sided varicocele is a serious manifestation and is not discussed in this note. Left-sided varicocele is common and generally symptomless. Symptoms, if any, are eased by wearing a suspensory bandage. A varicocele (a) appearing late; (b) showing a rapid increase in size, or (c) one in which symptoms do not clear up with a suspensory bandage, may indicate an underlying inguinal hernia. These cases are benefited by left inguinal herniorrhaphy. If the hernia was the cause of the varicocele then varicocele would be as common on the right as on the left. One's impression in these cases is that the drag of the varicocele has initiated the hernia (the sac is small, wide-mouthed and funnel-shaped). Once present the hernia may then aggravate the varicocele and so cause a vicious circle. A plea is, therefore, made for the more careful examination of these cases. A hernia may be obvious or may be suspected from the above features. Merely telling the patient that the varicocele is harmless will not cure the hernia.

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