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 a gonadal vein has weak defective valves resulting in the blood pooling in varicose veins in the scrotum. It is a relatively common condition affecting approximately 10% of men usually in their 20's or 30's. Sometimes, varicoceles do not cause any symptoms and are not harmless, but sometimea they can cause pain, testicular atrophy (shrinkage) or fertility problems.
Very often varicoceles are treated through open surgery in which an incision is made in the skin above the scrotum, cutting down to the testicular veins and tying them off with sutures. This open procedure is done as an outpatient procedure in a hospital, under general anesthesia, with a 2-3 week recovery period.
South Florida Vascular Associates offers a minimally invasive varicocele embolization procedure that is performed under twilight anesthesia. A small tube is inserted through a small nick in the groin and a small catheter is painlessly guided into the abdomen and into the varicocele vein under the guidance of x-ray imaging. The vein is sealed off by plugging it with small metal coils and a special medication is used to dissolve the excess veins. This painless minimally invasive procedure takes only 30 minutes and the patient goes home several hours later with a band aid at the puncture site.The patient can resume normal non-exertion activities immediately. Obviously, this procedure is much easier on the patient.
If you have a varicocele and would like more information call our office to schedule a consultation or send a comment through our blog.