A varicocele is an abnormal enlargement of a vein within the scrotum. This can result from poor valve function, causing a build up of blood as it struggles to travel through the failing scrotal veins. Varicoceles present in a similar way to a more commonly known condition called varicose veins, which occur in the legs.
Currently, doctors are unsure of the exact risk factors that contribute to the development of varicoceles. Men of any age can experience varicoceles, and they have been shown to occur as early as puberty. Men who are overweight or obese could be at a higher risk of suffering from varicoceles, but there have not been enough studies to say this conclusively.
While varicoceles commonly have no symptoms at all, in some cases patients will experience varying levels of pain. This pain may range from a dull ache to a sharp stabbing, and increase with physical exertion. The pain may also be relieved by lying on your back, or grow worse as the day progresses.
If varicoceles grow to a certain size, they may become physically noticeable. This could result in a swollen testicle, generally presenting on the left side. Varicoceles can also sometimes cause impaired fertility, especially as they grow larger.
Varicocele embolization is a non-surgical vascular treatment designed to safely reduce and eliminate varicoceles. It accomplishes this by closing off the blood supply to the faulty scrotal vein, causing the varicocele to shrink. After a short time, the vein will cease to function, and the patient will be free of all associated symptoms.
The treatment is performed by a specialist known as an interventional radiologist. The specialist will sedate the patient to make them comfortable, but they are allowed to stay conscious during the duration of the procedure.
The first step this doctor takes is to inject the patient with a harmless medical dye. This allows them to map out the pathways of the patients blood vessels, and more easily find the varicocele. From there, the doctor will make a small cut in the skin near the patient’s groin, and insert a thin catheter into an artery. This will be guided through the artery until it reaches the varicocele.
Once the catheter reaches the varicocele, an embolizing agent will be injected into the faulty vein. This causes a blockage, redirecting flow away from the varicocele and cutting off its blood supply. Without a steady flow of blood, the varicocele will shrink, and eventually stop functioning. The doctor will then remove the catheter, and the procedure will be complete.
Varicocele embolization is best suited for anyone experiencing a varicocele who wants a less invasive procedure than major surgery. Even if a patient is not experiencing symptoms, it’s best to deal with varicoceles before they become an issue.
Untreated varicoceles in teens can result in slowed growth of the testicles, as well as pain and swelling. If the varicocele is allowed to progress, cases have shown they can cause infertility.
Varicocele embolization has been shown to be highly effective in relieving the symptoms of varicoceles. The recovery time is far quicker than an open varicocelectomy, and does not require the use of general anaesthetic. This is also a same day procedure, so you will leave after your treatment is complete and recover in the comfort of your own home.
Varicocele embolization is an excellent choice for those who don’t wish to pursue a surgical option. General anesthesia and surgery carry higher chances of complications, and higher risk of infection. Varicocele embolization does not require a large incision, so will not result in the significant scarring associated with major surgeries.
When choosing a facility to perform your varicocele embolization, it is vital to select the best available care. You will want to choose a lab with well trained staff, who have access to cutting-edge medical technology.
If you want medical expertise you can count on, and a staff with your best interests at heart, you’ll want to choose ProVas Labs.
At ProVas Labs, we are confident in our knowledge of vascular treatments. We know surgery can be a risky and worrisome prospect, and we want patients to know there are alternative treatment options available. We’ve made it our mission to ensure our patients feel comfortable during their procedures, and leave knowing that they received the absolute best medical care.
An open varicocelectomy is not your only option. If you don’t wish to have major surgery, varicocele embolization can eliminate your varicoceles without the risk and discomfort of invasive procedures. When selecting a procedure, you’ll want to know all you can before moving forward. We can answer any questions you have, simply schedule a consultation today!
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