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What Is Varicocele?

Varicocele refers to the swelling of the veins inside the bag that holds the testicles. Pronounced as VAR-ih-Koe-seel, it is similar to varicose veins that arise in the legs. Varicoceles are a common root for low sperm production and decreased sperm quality leads to infertility in males. About 15 percent of adult males and 20 percent of adolescent males are diagnosed with this condition. It is most commonly diagnosed in males aged 15-25. Most varicoceles are easily diagnosed and don't require treatment in their mild form. Only when a varicocele causes severe symptoms, it needs surgical repair.

Some of the varicocele causes

Some of the varicocele causes include:

Faulty valves: The veins in the scrotum have one-way valves that prevent blood from flowing backward. If these valves fail, blood can pool in the veins, causing them to become enlarged and dilated.

Hormonal imbalances: Varicocele may be associated with imbalances in the hormones that regulate the reproductive system.

Abnormalities in the anatomy: Some men are born with abnormalities in the anatomy of the veins in the scrotum, which can increase the risk of developing varicocele.

Increased pressure in the veins: Activities that increase pressure in the abdomen, such as heavy lifting, can increase the pressure in the veins in the scrotum, leading to the development of varicocele.

Varicocele is a common condition that affects up to 15% of men, usually occurring on the left side of the scrotum. While varicocele is not always a serious condition, it can lead to infertility in some cases. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional if you suspect you have varicocele, especially if you are experiencing infertility or other symptoms.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Varicocele?

In most cases, you may not know that you have varicoceles because it shows no symptoms. But here's what you could experience physically: 

  • Sharp to dull recurring pain in the scrotum (a pouch that holds the testicles).
  • Pain relieves when lying on the back.
  • A lump on either side of the testicles.
  • Swelling in the scrotal sac.
  • Veins on your testicles appear large and twisted. Can look like a “bag of worms”. 

How Are Varicoceles Diagnosed?

Here’s what an Interventional Radiologist near me will do to diagnose you with varicoceles. 

  • Physical Examination: A doctor will recommend that you lie down or stand up straight to examine your testicles.
  • Valsalva Maneuver: A doctor will make you stand, take a deep breath, hold it and bend slightly down, and examines your scrotum.
  • Scrotal Ultrasound: A scrotal ultrasound will be done to get a detailed view of your scrotum and your overall severity.  

Once your healthcare provider diagnoses the problem, he/she will measure your condition in three grades depending on its severity. For eg., Grade 1 are small varicoceles followed by Grade 3 as larger ones. The varicoceles treatment near me for  is mainly based on the level of discomfort, or infertility problem. 

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What Are The Treatment Options For Varicocele?

Initially, a doctor will perform a physical examination of the varicocele by evaluating the scrotum. Further, an ultrasound or CT scan may be recommended to measure the size and shape of your testicles. In most cases, treatment may not be necessary at all. However, if varicoceles cause pain, swelling, testicular atrophy, or infertility, treatment may be the only way forward. Given below are some of the treatments available:

1. Open Surgery:

Your surgeon will access the varicoceles through an incision in your groin (thigh area next to the penis). The surgeon will then repair the varicocele. This procedure may be done under general or local anesthesia.

STEP 1: You will be administered local/general anesthesia

STEP 2: A surgeon uses a scalpel (surgical knife) to a tiny incision in your skin to access the varicocele. 

STEP 3: The enlarged veins are cut and sealed off. This will allow blood to flow into other healthy veins in the scrotum. 

STEP 4: The incision will be closed with stitches. 

2. Laparoscopic Varicocelectomy:

Your surgeon makes a small incision in your lower abdomen and passes a laparoscope (thin rod with a camera attached to the top) through the incision to see inside and repair the varicocele. This procedure is done under general anesthesia.

3. Percutaneous Embolization For Varicocele:

Varicocele embolization is a procedure that uses image guidance such as ultrasound or x-ray and a catheter (the tube that allows urine to drain freely) to place tiny coils and/or liquid agents in a blood vessel to seal it and divert blood flow away from a varicocele. This is a minimally invasive surgery and can help relieve pain and swelling. It may also improve sperm quality.

Why Choose Medfin?

Get treated by some of the best yet most experienced doctors in the country! Our team of Interventional radiologists are 15+ years certified and trained surgeons in Chennai who have extensively treated Varicocele related problems for over a decade. Our surgeons suggest the most advanced surgical procedures in Chennai that are painless, scarless, and ensure a speedy recovery. Think Surgery!! Think Medfin !!

Frequently Asked Questions

Medfin offers the latest surgical procedures to ensure that you recover as fast as possible in the least painful way possible.

No, this varicocele repair does not affect sexual function.

Studies have shown that varicocele repair can improve semen count to a certain extent. However, there is no guarantee that there will be significant improvement after the procedure as semen count depends on multiple other factors. Studies show that pregnancy rates among infertile couples improve between 30% - 50% after a varicocele repair procedure.

When left untreated, varicoceles can lead to complications such as shrinking of the testicles, also called atrophy, and also infertility. Varicoceles may keep the local temperature in or around the testicle too high, affecting sperm formation, movement and function.

No, once occurred, varicocele cannot go on its own. It is important to seek medical advice.

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Interventional Radiologist

MD (Radio Diagnosis)
11+ years Online Consultation

All your questions answered

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Should Varicose vein patients be suggested to join the gym for weight reduction/varicose veins?

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