Varicocele Embolization

varicocele embolization

Are you wondering why that abdominal pain you experience is so distressing? It is always good to discuss any new or worsening pain right away with your doctor.

Diagnosed with Varicoceles? Varicocele occurs in males when the scrotal veins become enlarged and the condition is similar to how Varicose Veins develop in the legs. The skin-covered sac responsible for holding the testicles is known as the scrotum. The arteries and veins delivering blood to the respective reproductive glands also lie within it. 

Varicocele occurs when the valves in the veins within the scrotum, normally controlling the blood flow to and from the testicles become defective. The blood subsequently accumulates causing the veins to enlarge. Poor blood circulation raises the blood temperature, raising the temperature of the testes, which hinders or destroys the sperms produced. Varicocele may cause the testicles to shrink. Reduced sperm production and poor quality of sperms can result in male infertility. What is more significant is that this condition is the most correctable cause of male infertility.

Surgery and Embolization are the two treatment procedures for Varicoceles.

What to expect during Embolization?

Varicocele Embolization is a minimally invasive proven effective treatment option for Varicocele. The procedure is quite popular and recommended by doctors as it offers a success rate comparable to the traditional surgical procedure but with relatively lesser risks.

The procedure is done as an outpatient one and completed in an hour or two. Following the initial preparatory procedures, the interventional radiologist inserts a catheter into the vein identified through an image guided technology, similar to X- ray. 

A contrast dye is injected into the catheter which helps to visualize the veins and the doctor spots the affected vein to embolize or block the varicocele. Small coils along with sclerosing agent are released which diverts the blood flow into the nearby healthy veins and shuts off the malfunctioning one. Once the healthy veins take over the function typically blood exits the scrotum and the varicocele will no longer be able to survive.

With this treatment the adnominal pain and swelling due to varicoceles reduces. As the pressure inside the testicles decreases, it aids in resolving symptoms like infertility and improve testosterone levels.

Benefits of Varicocele Embolization

Varicocele embolization procedure is preferred due to several reasons, major ones being:

  • Daycare procedure
  • Local anesthesia administered
  • No surgical incision- No scar 
  • Shorter Recovery time compared to surgery
  • 90% success rate similar to that achieved with more invasive surgical techniques

Are there risks involved ?

The procedure is a safe option when performed by an experienced interventional radiologist. But some general and procedure specific risks do exist. 

  • Dull ache in the groin or lower back which usually fades away with mild pain killers
  • Nausea, headache and drowsiness
  • Infection at the site of catheter insertion
  • Migration of the coil used to block the enlarged vein
  • Inflammation of the scrotum or vein
  • Slight allergic reaction to the dye

Call our Radiology experts at Avis Vascular center and explore a successful treatment for your condition.