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What Is Percutaneous Varicocele Embolization?

Percutaneous Varicocele Embolization is a minimally invasive procedure that blocks the flow of blood to swollen veins in the scrotum (a pouch that holds the testicles). This medical procedure blocks or diverts blood away from a swollen vein in the scrotum by injecting a type of substance, foam, coil, or glue. It is an outpatient procedure, but you may require an overnight hospital stay depending on the severity of your varicocele. If left untreated, varicoceles can cause severe pain, discomfort, infertility, and swelling. 

What Is A Varicocele?

The enlargement of veins in the pouch that holds the testicles (scrotum) is called a varicocele. Its exact cause is still being studied and in most cases, varicoceles do not show any symptoms and do not require any treatment. If this condition causes discomfort, or pain or affects the quality of life, then your doctor will recommend a varicocele embolization procedure which is a minimally invasive procedure that helps block the blood flow to the affected veins and redirect it to the healthier veins. 

How Is Percutaneous Varicocele Embolization Done?

Before Varicocele Embolization:

Initially, a healthcare provider will ask you the following questions:

  • Medical history
  • Any allergic reaction to medications
  • Recent symptoms of fever
  • Your intake of daily/ recent medications

Based on the accumulated data, a healthcare provider will suggest the following:

  • Ultrasound test of your scrotum
  • Stop smoking cigarettes and limit the use of alcohol
  • Do not eat or drink a few hours before varicocele procedure
  • Arrange for an attendee to drive you home.

During Varicocele Embolization:

An interventional radiologist (IR) performs a Percutaneous Varicocele Embolization procedure. This procedure does not require stitches or general anesthesia and is treated on an outpatient basis. Here’s what happens during this varicocele embolization procedure. 

  • Preparation: The patient will be positioned on the examination table and the area around the scrotum will be sterilized. Local anesthesia will be administered to numb the area.
  • A small needle puncture is made in the skin and a catheter is inserted through it. The catheter is then guided to the affected vein using ultrasound or fluoroscopy.
  • Once the catheter is in the right position, an embolic agent (such as coils, plugs, or sclerosing agents) is injected into the vein to block it off. The embolic agent will cause the vein to collapse and redirect blood flow to healthier veins.
  • Once the embolization is complete, the catheter is removed and pressure is applied to the puncture site to prevent bleeding. The patient may be monitored for a short period of time before being discharged.

After the procedure, the patient may experience some discomfort and swelling, but this typically resolves within a few days. Most patients are able to resume normal activities within a week or so.

NOTE: In some cases, an embolization procedure can cause a recurrence of varicocele. It is recommended that you choose an experienced interventional radiologist who’s extensively conducted varicose embolization procedures with high success rates.

After Varicocele Embolization:

Immediately after varicocele embolization, you will be taken to a waiting room and observed to check for signs of complication. However, there are some cases where you cannot return home on the same day. This will depend on your specific signs and overall health.

You will have to avoid strenuous activities such as jogging and sexual intercourse for a few weeks based on your surgeon's instructions. Have regular follow-ups with your healthcare provider. It is important for the patient to follow any post-procedure instructions provided by their healthcare provider. These may include:

  • Keeping the puncture site clean and dry
  • Applying ice packs to the treated area to reduce swelling
  • Wearing supportive underwear for a few days
  • Avoiding hot baths, saunas, or hot tubs for a week or two
  • Following a restricted diet to prevent constipation and straining during bowel movements.

Benefits & Risks of Percutaneous Varicocele Embolization?

Benefits:

  • No surgical incisions are required
  • Less recovery time
  • 90% success rate
  • Painless procedure
  • No damage to surrounding tissues

Risks:

  • Infection in the treated area
  • Allergic reaction
  • Lower back pain
  • Inflammation in the scrotum & veins
  • Chances of injecting embolic substances in the wrong vein. Choose an experience interventional radiologist. 

NOTE: The above-listed risks are temporary and can be avoided by choosing an experienced interventional radiologist with practical knowledge of varicocele embolization and high success rates.

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 who have extensively treated Varicocele related problems for over a decade. Our surgeons suggest the most advanced surgical procedures 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.

Embolization has a 90% success rate and a 10% low rate of recurrence. These results are similar to those achieved with other minimally invasive techniques too. Percutaneous Varicocele Embolization for varicocele has been in practice for over 20 years and has a high long-term safety record.

Yes, you can do low-intensity walking after the varicocele embolization procedure. Walking improves blood flow, but avoid strenuous activities such as riding, jogging, cycling, and weight lifting for 3 weeks post-embolization.

Yes, a varicocele disappears through embolization. Percutaneous Varicocele Embolization is a procedure that deviates blood flow from the swollen vein in the scrotum to other healthy veins, thus causing varicocele to disappear.

No, varicocele embolization is a painless procedure. You will be administered local anesthesia during the procedure. You may experience mild discomfort immediately after the procedure and will resume in three days.

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