David's Story: Varicoceles in Young Men

David's Story: Varicoceles in Young Men

In June of 2014, 19 year old David began feeling discomfort and heaviness in his left testicle. He had no idea what was causing the discomfort and thought that resting and icing it would help but there was no relief. When he noticed that the testicle began to swell, this gave him reason for concern.

David first consulted with a urologist about his discomfort and was sent for a testicular ultrasound that confirmed he had a varicocele in his left testicle. Varicoceles are a tangled network of blood vessels or swelling of the veins on the testicles. It is similar to varicose veins in the legs but in this condition a vein called the gonadal vein has weak, defective valves, resulting in the blood pooling in varicose veins in the scrotum.

A varicocele is a relatively common condition (affecting approximately 10% of men) that tends to occur in young men, usually in their 20s or 30s, but can also develop in younger men and adolescents. In fact, varicoceles develop in 17% of boys between the ages of 13 – 25. Varicoceles are also known to cause infertility issues.

The urologist suggested David undergo a surgical treatment, varicocele surgical ligation. This procedure involves an open incision above the scrotum, general anesthesia, and 2 to 3 weeks of down time. David was willing to try anything to relieve himself even it if meant going under anesthesia, but he did some research on the internet and came across Dr. William Julien an expert endovascular surgeon at South Florida Vascular Associates who performs a procedure called varicocele embolization (VE). VE is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that requires only a tiny cut in the skin, "twilight" sedation, and almost no downtime. This sounded like a much better option.

Dr. William Julien Explains Varicocele Embolization (VE)

Upon examination, Dr. Julien explained the embolization procedure in depth and also told David that the procedure only takes 30 minutes and he could go home a few hours later with only a small bandage at the puncture site. In addition, he would be able to immediately resume non-exertional activities. Of course, David opted to go with varicocele embolization.

“David had VE on June 24, 2015, and the surgery was a huge success.  “I was not in much pain after the surgery and within 10 days post-surgery, I was pain free”, said David. It took a couple of weeks before the swelling went down but for the most part he was feeling on top of the world! The embolization procedure was David’s first surgery and he was nervous but the surgery was quick and easy. David says the staff was wonderful making sure I was comfortable all the way through and Dr. Julien was awesome, he explained everything to me and eased my concerns. I was also extremely pleased with the care that I received from the time I arrived until they let me go home. David says, it’s so important to educate yourself and know your options before undergoing surgery. Until he learned of varicocele embolization he was ready to go through a painful surgery and long recovery time. I’m so happy that I pursued other options and found the right procedure for me. I feel great, says David and it was so easy!

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