Varicocele Embolization Repair for Infertility: A Comprehensive Look
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.
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.
Initially, a healthcare provider will ask you the following questions:
Based on the accumulated data, a healthcare provider will suggest the following:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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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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