Have you been diagnosed with Varicose veins? Is this something to be anxious about? It is likely for someone presented with a varicocele diagnosis to have this question in their mind. Well, it is estimated that around 10 percent of male population have varicocele.
The link between varicocele and male infertility cannot be overlooked as studies show that roughly 4 in 10 men who are tested for infertility have a varicocele and reduced sperm movement.
Towards the beginning of the 20th century, the first study on relation between varicocele and infertility was made when surgical repair of varicocele was shown to improve the quality of sperms. However, doctors still debate on the role of varicocele in male infertility and insists on more systematic research and reviews.
What is a Varicocele?
Veins inside the scrotum contain single-way valves that allow blood to flow back to the heart. When these valves fail, the blood flow becomes sluggish requiring more pressure to keep the blood flowing through the veins. If blood flows backwards, it starts to pool around. This blockage further leads to the condition called varicocele, the swelling of scrotal veins. Mostly asymptomatic, most men do not have any discomfort or complications.
The swelling typically resembles an enlargement above the testicle, without discoloration.
The pampiniform plexus is a group of veins inside the scrotum which play a role in the temperature regulation of the testes and help cool the blood before it travels to the testicular artery that supplies blood to the testicles.When the pampiniform plexus veins become enlarged, as in varicoceles, the testicles are overheated, and fail to produce healthy sperms. This may lead to lower fertility potential.
Treatment for varicocele
There are no medications which are proven to be effective in treating or preventing Varicocele. Varicoceles need not always be treated. But treatment is offered to those with
- Fertility issues
- Pain, swelling and discomfort
- Low sperm count / abnormal semen analysis
Currently there are two main treatment options for varicocele.
Performed by an interventional radiologist, the goal is to find all the veins leading to varicocele. 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.
Done under local anesthesia, the procedure lasts around 45 minutes to an hour.
In essence, the incompetent vein is blocked by preventing blood flow, accomplishing what the urologist does, but without surgery. Embolization is equally effective in improving male infertility and costs about the same as the surgical ligation procedure. Its benefits in terms of semen analysis, pregnancy rates and recurrence rates are comparable to those following a surgical procedure.
No incisions or sutures are needed in the scrotal area. Chances of infection are very rare. Recovery period is normally few days whereas after a surgical ligation it takes many weeks for a complete recovery.
- Surgical treatment of Varicocele
Surgery is done under general anesthesia. A doctor surgically removes varicocele by blocking the blood flow to the damaged vein. A large cut is made in the skin above the scrotum down to the testicular veins and tying them off with sutures.
For further information on Varicocele treatment and cost, please call Avis Vascular center and talk to our experts.
Varicocele Treatment In Hyderabad
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