Varicoceles & Male Infertility

A varicocele is a bundle of dilated veins surrounding the testicle resulting from blood flowing the wrong way down the vein. This may lead to pain or problems with fertility and testicular development. The treatment for this is to stop blood from flowing the wrong way through the vein either by clipping it during surgery or blocking it with coils during an interventional procedure. Blood will flow away from the testicle via smaller veins and the veins surrounding the testicle will shrink.

What should I expect?

Ultrasound and x-rays will be used to guide the procedure. You will be in a procedure room that looks similar to an operating room with an x-ray camera in the center. Patients usually receive moderate sedation for the procedure, you will not need general anesthesia. The veins can be approached from the groin, neck or arm. After numbing up the area, your radiologist will place a small tube through which he or she will place a catheter into the vein draining the testicle. Contrast will be injected to better evaluate the veins and the veins will be blocked off. After the procedure you will have a small bandage where the catheter went in and you will leave after a short period of observation

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