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David’s Story: Varicoceles in Young Men

In June 2014, at the age of 19, David started experiencing discomfort and heaviness in his left testicle. Initially thinking rest and ice would alleviate the issue, he became concerned when the testicle began to swell without relief.

Seeking advice, David consulted a urologist who recommended a testicular ultrasound, revealing a varicocele in his left testicle. Varicoceles are a network of tangled blood vessels or swelling of the veins in the testicles, akin to varicose veins in the legs. The condition occurs when the gonadal vein has weak valves, leading to blood pooling in varicose veins in the scrotum.

Varicoceles are relatively common, affecting around 10% of men, primarily in their 20s or 30s. However, they can also develop in younger men and adolescents, with 17% of boys between 13 and 25 experiencing them. Notably, varicoceles are associated with infertility issues.

The suggested treatment was varicocele surgical ligation, an invasive procedure with general anesthesia and several weeks of downtime. Despite being open to relief, David researched alternatives and discovered Dr. William Julien, an expert endovascular surgeon at South Florida Vascular Associates, who performs varicocele embolization (VE). VE is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure requiring a small skin incision, twilight sedation, and minimal downtime, presenting a more appealing option.

Dr. William Julien Explains Varicocele Embolization (VE)

After a thorough examination, Dr. Julien explained the VE procedure to David, highlighting its brevity (only 30 minutes) and the ability to return home a few hours later with a small bandage at the puncture site. David could immediately resume non-exertional activities. Opting for varicocele embolization, David underwent the procedure on June 24, 2015.

Reflecting on his experience, David stated, “The surgery was a huge success. I was not in much pain after the surgery, and within 10 days, I was pain-free.” While some swelling persisted for a couple of weeks, David expressed feeling on top of the world. Varicocele embolization, his first surgery, proved to be quick and easy, with the supportive staff ensuring his comfort throughout. Dr. Julien’s thorough explanations and care further eased his concerns. David emphasized the importance of self-education and exploring options before opting for surgery, expressing gratitude for finding the right procedure that made him feel great with minimal hassle.