Varicocele

A varicocele is a dilated or swollen vein in the scrotum caused by defective or absent valves in the vessels of the scrotum.

Varicocele

Signs & symptoms

A varicocele may cause pain and swelling of the testicles, although the conditional may never show signs or symptoms.

Risk factors

  • Gender (Men)
  • Age (typically 15-35)

Diagnosis

A physician may discover a varicocele during fertility testing because this condition can affect a man’s fertility and sperm production. For patients who present with symptoms, the condition may be diagnosed during a medical evaluation. Once a varicocele is discovered, non-invasive ultrasound imaging may be performed to determine the size and location of the affected vessels.

Treatment

After evaluation, your physician will discuss the best treatment options for your individual case. At one time surgery was the only option; however, a minimally-invasive technique is now available called varicocele embolization, which can be performed under moderate sedation in an outpatient setting. A catheter is threaded to the affected vessel to deploy a stainless-steel coil in the targeted area, blocking blood flow to the dilated vessels in the varicocele.

The total procedure time for a varicocele embolization is about two hours and you can expect to be back to work in 48 hours. Most patients go home the same day and experience only mild discomfort. Our patients experience a 95 percent success rate and usually require no further intervention.