Varicocele and Male Infertility Treatment
A varicocele is a varicose vein of the testicle and scrotum that may cause pain, testicular atrophy (shrinkage), or fertility problems. Veins contain one-way valves that work to allow blood to flow from the testicles and scrotum back to the heart. When these valves fail, the blood pools and enlarge the veins around the testicle in the scrotum to cause a varicocele.
Varicocele Embolization is a minimally invasive procedure used to shut off the blood supply in a varicocele. An interventional radiologist uses X-ray imaging to guide a small catheter to the abnormal vein. Contrast dye is injected into the vein to visualize all pathways leading to the varicocele; then, the affected veins or “pathways” are permanently closed, and blood is redirected to normal venous channels.
A tiny nick in the skin at the groin using local anesthesia, through which a thin catheter (much like a piece of spaghetti) is passed into the femoral vein, directly to the testicular vein. The physician then injects contrast dye to provide direct visualization of the veins so s/he can map out exactly where the problem is and where to embolize, or block, the vein. By embolizing the vein, blood flow is re-directed to other healthy pathways. Through mild IV sedation and local anesthesia, patients are relaxed and pain-free during the approximately two-hour procedure.
Surgical Treatment of Varicocele
After the patient receives anesthesia, an incision is made in the skin above the scrotum, cutting down to the testicular veins, and tying them off with sutures.
Doctor Referral Required