Spotlight on Varicocele

Varicoceles are similar to varicose veins, except they affect the scrotum instead of the legs. They occur when the blood that flows through the veins in the scrotum doesn’t move properly and instead backs up, causing bulging blood vessels. In some cases, a varicocele doesn’t cause any symptoms at all, while in other cases, they can cause significant discomfort. If you suspect you have a varicocele, see your urologist as soon as possible. Surgical treatment is usually necessary.

What are the risk factors for varicocele?

There are not any clear-cut risk factors for varicocele, though they seem to be more common in men who are tall and less common in men who are overweight. They are most common in men during puberty, though they can happen at any stage of life.

What are the symptoms?

Some men with varicoceles experience a feeling of heaviness or aching in the testicles after standing for a long period of time. There may be obvious shrinkage of the testicles and enlarged veins may also be visible. Frequently, there are no symptoms at all. Because varicoceles can cause significant problems with fertility, many men find out that they have them in the course of a fertility screening. They may also be diagnosed during a routine physical exam.

What treatments are available?

You may not need treatment for varicoceles if you are not experiencing any symptoms and your fertility is not impaired. If you do require treatment, there are multiple surgical solutions your urologist may recommend. A microsurgical varicocelectomy, during which the veins that are causing problems are closed so that blood flow redirects to other veins, is considered to have the best treatment outcomes. Laparoscopy is another option, but it is considered to have more risks. Percutaneous embolization, in which a coil is inserted into the vein to block it off, is usually only performed if other treatments have failed.

The specialists at Urology Associates, P.C. treat a wide range of men’s health issues, from erectile dysfunction to male infertility in Tennessee . Don’t let varicoceles or sexual health problems impact your life. Call (855) 901-1338 to make an appointment.

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