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Varicocele Surgery Vs. Embolization

Varicocele Surgery

Facts that will guide you while choosing your Varicocele treatment. 

What is Varicocele

Varicocele is a condition that occurs in the scrotum, the part of a male’s body behind the penis. Compression of veins or defective valves within the scrotum, which normally control the blood flow to and from the testicles, may cause poor circulation and pooling of blood causing the veins to enlarge. Varicocele may cause the testicles to shrink. The condition may lead to reduced sperm production or sperm motility and abnormal sperm morphology.

It is important to note that Varicocele remains the most identified and correctable cause of infertility in males. Surgical correction had been the most widely preferred method to treat varicocele for many years and it is quite an effective method of treatment with a failure rate of less than 5%.

Nowadays, another effective alternative procedure for varicocele known as Embolization is quite popular.

In this blog, we try to bring out the differences between the various surgical procedures and the minimally invasive procedure, called Embolization.

Surgical options for varicocele

Varicocelectomy: It is a surgery that removes swollen veins inside the scrotum. Surgery is done with the help of a high-powered surgical microscope under local anesthesia and has been linked to fewer risks and complexities for patients than an open surgery. 

Laparoscopic surgery: Performed under general anesthesia, incisions are made in the abdomen and thin lighted tubes are inserted. A gas fills the abdomen which enables the doctor to see and perform the surgery. The procedure has increased chances of complications.

Open surgery: Performed under general or spinal anesthesia, an incision is made at either the upper scrotum, groin, or lower abdomen. Ultrasound imaging techniques, and microscope guides the surgeon to see the treatment area better. 

With surgical procedures, the pain usually continues for several weeks after the procedure and recovery usually takes weeks.

Advantages of Embolization

  • Regardless of the type of surgery performed – open, laparoscopic, or microscopic, 1 in 10 men are observed to have a varicocele recurrence. Studies also report that many who had undergone surgery experienced inadequate pain relief after the procedure. Alternatively, embolization is much less invasive and offers promising results comparable with surgery with reduced complications and risk.
  • Studies have shown that in infertile male with unilateral varicoceles, surgical procedures show no real advantage in terms of success rates, suggesting that embolization may be the better choice. 
  • The procedure does not require incisions or cuts over the skin. Hence no sutures or long-term scars will be present. 
  • Embolization can be performed under local anesthesia and mild sedation, thus eliminating the risks associated with general anesthesia. 
  • With increased technical experience and improvements in equipment and materials, the technical failure rates of varicocele embolization continue to improve.
  • Since embolization is purely intravascular, it minimizes the risk of arterial injury which has obvious consequences in the management of the infertile male. 
  • The recovery period after varicocele embolization procedure is typically few days compared to 1 to 2 weeks following varicocele surgery.

Varicocele embolization is performed at Avis vascular Centre with a high success rate. You can call and ask for Interventional Radiology Department in the hospital or visit our Vascular Specialists to know more about your treatment options

Varicocele Treatment In Hyderabad

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