Most men do not have any symptoms, and the varicocele is an incidental finding discovered on physical examination. For 10% of men however this can pose more of an issue.1
If symptoms occur, it usually presents with dull pain or aching of the affected testicle. This can be worse with certain activities or exercise. If severe, patients can feel discomfort even at the end of day or standing for a prolonged period. Some patients describe their symptoms as heaviness in the scrotum, while others it feels like a mass or enlargement of the affected testicle.
Abnormal flow around the testicle can also affect testosterone production. This can not only interfere with sexual function but also result in reduced strength and low energy.2
Over time a varicocele can also cause shrinkage of the testicle, leading to one or both testicles to be smaller in size than normal.
In other patients, pain may not be the primary symptom but rather infertility. After failed attempts at conception it is discovered that they have a varicocele. This abnormal blood flow results in a lower sperm count and abnormal movement and structure of the sperm.
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What is Varicocele Embolization?
Varicocele can be treated by an embolization procedure or surgery. Embolization is a non-surgical, outpatient, minimally invasive technique that uses x-ray guidance to place tiny coils and embolic fluid in the abnormal blood vessels causing them to close down.
Am I a candidate for Varicocele Embolization?
Treatment is offered for males who have:
- Fertility problems (problems fathering a child)
- Boys with a smaller testicle; at a higher risk for fertility problems when they are older
Should I Seek Treatment?
If you have a varicocele resulting in any of the above symptoms, then you may be a candidate for treatment. Surgery is not your only option. Non-surgical embolization results in faster recovery, less risk and can be performed without any stiches or major incisions.
How Is Non-Surgical Embolization Performed?
- You will receive twilight sedation to help you relax
- Our specialist numbs the skin on the neck or groin
- A tiny catheter is placed
- Foam and small coil plugs placed into the vein
- The catheter is removed
- Band-Aid is applied
Contact Us Today
Request a consultation to meet with our varicocele specialist who will review your imaging, labs and history to determine if you are candidate for the procedure, and the outcomes you can expect. Each person is an individual and should discuss the potential risks and benefits of embolization and other treatments with our doctor to decide which option is best.
Consultations are available via an online video telehealth platform or in person at one of the offices in Los Angeles, Orange County or San Diego. Why should you choose us? Read here
1.) Abrol, N., Panda, A., & Kekre, N. S. (2014, October 1). Painful varicoceles: Role of varicocelectomy.
2.) Stanford Health Care. Varicocele. https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-conditions/mens-health/varicocele.html
The above information explains what is involved and the possible risks. It is not meant to be a substitute for informed discussion between you and your doctor, but can act as a starting point for such a discussion.