How is varicocele treated?

How is varicocele treated?

Varicocele is defined as the enlargement of veins present within the scrotum which is a sac that holds a man's testicles, containing the spermatic cord, the arteries and veins that transport blood to the reproductive glands. Abnormality in any of the veins of the scrotum may result in varicocele.

Varicocele although similar to varicose veins (which occurs in the legs), can only develop in the scrotum. A varicocele can lead to diminished sperm motility and quantity, which in turn can lead to infertility in men.

Infertility due to varicocele is caused by an increased amount of blood in the scrotum which raises the temperature of the testicles. Sperms are best produced at a temperature lower than the body and varicocele deters that from happening.

Treatment of Varicoceles

Treating varicoceles may not always be imperative. However, doctors may suggest varicoceles treatment if you have the following symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Testicular atrophy
  • Infertility due to low sperm count/motility

Treatment should also be considered if you are thinking of assisted reproductive techniques, like IVF.  Varicoceles treatments include:

Varicocelectomy (Conventional Open Surgery)

In this procedure, the surgeon accesses the affected area using ultrasound and surgical microscopes. The abnormal veins are then closed to reroute the blood through healthier veins in order to pump blood normally. This surgery is performed under local or general anaesthesia and the patient can go home the same day.

Laparoscopic Surgery

In this method, the surgeon makes an incision in the abdomen or upper thigh and enters the scrotum.

Embolization

During this process, the doctor inserts either a tube down the neck or a catheter through the groin. Surgical tools are passed through these to block the veins by placing a coil in between them. This procedure can be done in the outpatient department itself and the recovery is very quick.

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