A varicocele are an abnormal enlarged veins in the male scrotum with stagnant or reversed blood flow. When these valves in the vein draining the testicle are not present or fail, blood can begin to pool in the veins around the testicle, forming a varicocele. Varicoceles can cause pain, infertility, swelling, or testicular atrophy. In many instances, a varicocele does not cause any symptoms. However, some varicoceles cause aching pain, especially if the person has been in an upright position for an extended period of time. Heavy lifting can also cause pressure in the varicocele.
Varicocele embolization is a procedure which used real time x-ray guidance performed on an outpatient basis that diverts blood away from the varicocele. An interventional radiologist will insert a small tube the size of a spaghetti into a vein in either the leg or in the arm. . The catheter is then placed into the varicocele, and tiny coils are inserted into the vein to block it and stop the reversed blood flow in the varicocele. Embolization is a highly effective alternative to surgery and only requires a small nick in the skin with minimal or no down time as opposed to a surgical incision into the scrotum.
If you are searching for an effective, minimally invasive treatment option for your varicocele, it’s best to speak with an interventional radiologist. You may be an ideal candidate for varicocele embolization if you are an adult male that has been appropriately diagnosed with an enlarged vein that’s causing your testicular pain or infertility. Your doctor will discuss the best course of treatment for your unique needs.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a varicocele, surgery does not have to be your only option. Our interventional radiologist treats men with varicoceles using embolization. Our experts combine compassion and medical expertise to help you through your treatment and provide relief so you can safely return to your daily routine.