Varicocelectomy Is Not a Cure.
Learn the facts. Make an Informed Decision.
Mr. Daniel Johnson, B.Sc.
VARICOCELE SURGERY IS NOT A CURE
It's important to know that varicocele surgery is not a cure for varicocele. It's simply a treatment method, and not an effective one. Consider: Varicocele surgery, is not effective for pain relief, and only has an NNT of 7 for improving pregnancy rates (14% improvement). Also, consider:
WHY IS SURGERY THE ONLY TREATMENT OPTION?
Well, no, surgery is not the only treatment option for varicocele. It is a little confusing at first, because when you search for varicocele treatment methods, all that you see are "Surgery", "Surgery or Embolization", or "Do Nothing". Not surprisingly, 99% of the scientific literature is also on surgery, embolization, or doing nothing. Very few scientists seem concerned with the alternatives. It does seem odd at first, but consider that surgeons and radiologists charge anywhere from $8,000 to $20,000 for a one hour procedure, which translates to an over $300,000,000 market per year, in just the United States. The money dictates the content, and the scientific research. Not a conspiracy, just how money, marketing and research work. Simply, marketing and research require financing to function. But, you have to realize that this also heavily skews pretty much everything in favor of surgery.
WHY DOES VARICOCELE REDEVELOP AFTER SURGERY?
Well, simply because surgery treats the symptom of swollen veins, and does Not treat the root cause of varicocele. I've studied the 1% of the science that talks about alternatives to surgery and embolization, and the science shows that lifestyle is very important [2, 3]. Moreover, when it comes to testicular health, fertility and pain, there is a lot that you can and should be doing. For example, if you have infertility and sit all day for work--should you get varicocele surgery, or improve your lifestyle? If you have a poor diet, should you have surgery, or correct your lifestyle? If you have very high stress, should you have surgery, or correct your lifestyle? You know, I think it's pretty straightforward, but the over-fixation on surgery or nothing mixes us up.
Here are some examples of controllable varicocele risk factors (the root causes): We know that taller men experience higher rates of varicoceles, but this isn't necessarily because of their height. Actually, it is likely that taller men simply have worse posture, which is a controllable varicocele risk factor. We also know activity type is a risk factor for varicocele: E.g. men who play basketball experience higher rates of varicocele than those who swim. We also know that bowel health effects varicocele: E.g. constipation and irregular bowel movement are positively associated with varicocele. We know that the percentage of men with varicocele increases in countries the modernize (e.g. increased sedentary lifestyle, change in diet, change in activity type, increased postural imbalances, etc.) So, really, in conclusion, there are many controllable varicocele risk factors, and focusing on surgery--as the only solution, is really just misleading, and the reason for why varicocele redevelops after surgery.
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