VARICOCELE TREATMENT Q & A
How Is Varicocele Diagnosed?
Varicoceles may be found during a patient’s routine annual exam. While the male patient is in a standing position and/or asked to bear down or cough, a doctor will feel the testicles. The pooled blood that causes the vein to bulge will be noticeable to the touch of a trained physician.
Sometimes the varicocele is hidden or too small to be detected during a physical exam. In this case, doctors use Doppler ultrasonography or thermography to determine if varicoceles are present and the cause of symptoms.
Doppler ultrasonography is ultrasound that detects the sound of backflow of the blood through the valve. Thermography is infrared sensing technology that detects pockets of heat created by pooled blood.
How Is Varicocele Treated?
Varicoceles are typically very treatable. Varicocele embolization is a highly effective, non-surgical, minimally invasive treatment.
What Is Varicocele Embolization?
Varicocele embolization is a non-surgical, minimally invasive procedure that treats the bulging vein and restores healthy blood flow. This treatment shuts off blood flow to affected veins, resulting in relief from painful symptoms.
How Is Varicocele Embolization Performed?
Under local anesthesia, a tiny nick is made in the skin of the groin. The physician inserts a thin catheter into the femoral vein. The catheter is then guided to the affected scrotal vein. Next, a coil or fluid is inserted, blocking the blood flow to the bulging vein feeding the varicocele. Blood flow is redirected to other veins.
What Are the Benefits?
Varicocele embolization has a proven track record of safely and effectively treating the painful symptoms caused by varicoceles. It is an outpatient procedure using local anesthesia to minimize any discomfort. The only incisions made are tiny nicks the size of a grain of rice. This enables the patient to go home the same day as treatment and resume normal activities in about one week.
What to Expect from Varicocele Treatment?
Dr. Jilbert Eradat will carefully explain how to prepare for the procedure. He will also provide written instructions for procedure prep, after care, and follow up appointments. Relief from pain is an expected result of undergoing varicocele treatment. Varicocele embolization can also often reverse male infertility by increasing sperm count and blood flow to the previously affected area.