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Varicocele Embolization - What Should You Be Aware Of?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Rajendra Bansal 88% (70 ratings)
Diploma In Medical Radio-Diagnosis, DNB - Radio Diagnosis, Post Doctoral Fellowship In interventional Radiology - Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi
Radiologist, Jaipur  •  7 years experience
Varicocele Embolization - What Should You Be Aware Of?

Varicocele Embolization is a non-invasive process to insert a coil or embolic fluid in the blood vessel to divert the flow of blood from Varicocele. Varicocele is a condition suffered by men in their scrotum. About 15% of men suffer from Varicocele, which results in pain, swelling, and infertility in men. By using the high-end method of Varicocele Embolization, patients having this problem can be treated. The technique is safe and uses image guidance, hence less invasive and faster recovery.

Varicocele Embolization is an image-guided procedure in which doctors insert a tiny coil into the blood vessel of the enlarged vein of the scrotum. A catheter is inserted to complete the procedure. Varicocele is an enlarged vein in a man's scrotum that causes discomfort and pain. Doctors use various tests and ultrasound to find the Varicocele and its severity.

Causes of Varicocele:

Varicocele is caused due to the one-way valve in the scrotum veins which prevents the blood flow from testicles to the body. Due to this, the valves become dysfunctional and cause blood to block the vein.

How is it Done?

Varicocele Embolization is performed by an experienced vascular doctor. This is a minimally invasive method to stop the flow of blood so that it shrinks and dies off. The technique will relieve the patient from pain and swelling and increase sperm quality.

The procedure starts with sedating the patient by giving local anesthesia. The doctor then inserts a catheter into the groin of the patient and uses a fluoroscopy to get guided with the images. With the help of image guiding technology, the doctor gets in the femoral vein and advances towards the testicular vein with the catheter.

Ink is injected into the veins of the patient which enables the doctors to embolize in the Varicocele. The veins which are enlarged due to blood flow are blocked so that blood flow is restricted and it shrinks. Once doctors successfully block the blood vessel, patient having Varicocele is treated.

Benefits of Varicocele Embolization:

Varicocele Embolization is a minimally invasive method. Hence, there are many benefits of this process; some of them are:

  1. No scarring

  2. Recovery time is fast

  3. Patients do not have to go through open surgery

  4. No general anesthesia

  5. Post recovery restrictions are limited

After Procedure and Recovery:

Generally, after procedure, rest at home is recommended by the doctors. Patients can be discharged from the hospital soon after the treatment. However, relief from pain and swelling is observed within 24 hours of surgery. Since the blood flow is directed to the healthy veins, the unhealthy veins shrink and die off.

The recovery time from open surgery is somewhere around four weeks, but with Varicocele Embolization, one can recover from the procedure in just two days.

Patients who are suffering from Varicocele must know that surgery option is not only risky but also very time taking. Due to the development of the image-guiding machine and technology, Varicocele Embolization is an easy way to cure Varicocele. Since surgery is not performed in this method, there are no scars and no incisions. The patient can resume sexual activity within number of weeks, as suggested by the doctor.

Take Away:

Varicocele Embolization is one of the most effective methods for the treatment of Varicocele. However, it is always advisable to consult an experienced surgeon before going for this treatment option. It is also recommended to follow post-surgery instructions for better results.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!
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