Varicocele is a relatively common condition affecting approximately 10 percent of men during the second or third decade of life. Sometimes, sometimes they cause pain or atrophy or fertility problems. Normally, blood flows to the testicles through an artery, and flows out via a network of tiny veins that drain into a long vein that goes up through the abdomen. A series of one-way valves in the vein prevent the reverse flow of blood back to the testicles
Symptoms of Varicocele
1. Pain is an aching pain when the individual has been standing or sitting for an extended time and pressure builds up in the affected veins. Heavy lifting may make varicocele symptoms worse and, in some cases, can even cause varicoceles to form.
2. Fertility Problems – The varicocele raises the temperature of the testicles and affects sperm production. Studies have shown that from 50 percent to 70 percent of men with fertility problems will have a significant improvement in the quality and/or quantity of sperm production after they have undergone varicocele embolization.
3. Testicular Atrophy or shrinking, of the testicles is another of the signs of varicoceles.
Diagnosis: – Varicocele can be diagnosed during a physical examination. A large varicocele may make the scrotum look lumpy so it resembles “a bag of worms”.When varicocele symptoms are not clearly present, the abnormal flow of blood can often be detected with a noninvasive imaging exam called color flow ultrasound.
Varicocele Treatment Without Surgery by Embolization
Due to lack of awareness about non-surgical treatment, patients frequently undergo surgical treatment which results in surgical scar, long hospitalization, chances of infections, surgical suture and done under general anesthesia.
Non-surgical treatment is performed by an interventional radiologist and benefits are no pain, no surgical scar, patients are able to return to normal daily activities immediately. A patient with both side varicoceles can have them fixed simultaneously in one sitting & it is cost-effective also.
Varicocele embolization is a day care procedure that is performed under local anesthesia using “twilight” sedation. In this type of varicocele treatment, a small tube is inserted into the groin or neck through a small nick in the skin (about the size of the lead in a pencil). The skin is numbed for this procedure. The catheter is passed and directed to the testicular vein. With contrast injection, interventional radiologist map out exactly where the problem is and by using coils, by embolization, blood flow is re-directed to other healthy pathways. Whole non-surgical treatment procedure is pain less and takes about 30 minute to an hour. The tube is removed and no stitches are needed. Patients often return to work the next day.
Embolization is effective in improving male infertility and costs about the same as surgical ligation. The study shows, sperm concentration improved in 83 percent of patients undergoing embolization compared to 63 percent of those surgically ligated.
Treatment of Varicocele Without Surgery by Embolization by Dr Pradeep Muley