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Varicocele is a chronic condition caused by testicular varicose veins. These veins develop around your testicle in a process similar to the varicose veins that occur in the legs. These varicose veins occur due to dysfunctions of the valves that keep blood flow towards the heart. When weakened, this allows for backflow pooling of the blood in the scortum. This pooling stretches the veins, resulting in thick, enlarged veins that can cause pain and heaviness. Varicocele can also lead to infetility

Approximately 10% of all men have varicoceles. They are most prevalent in men ages 15-35. Among infertile couples nearly 30% of men have varicoceles.

Varicocele can cause pain, tenderness and heaviness in the testicule

Treatment of Varicocele

Traditionally varicoceles are treated by surgical means which can involve general anesthesia, large incision within the scrotum or higher in pelvis and possibly repeated treatments. We offer a minimally invasive option named varicocele embolization which involved eliminating the engorged veins using metals plugs. 

Treating varicocele may involve one or more of the following procedures:

  • Embolization – a catheter is placed directly into the varicose veins, and tiny coils or plugs are injected to block the blood flow in the vein. The varicose vein closes off, and the blood reroutes itself into a healthy vein.

  • Sclerotherapy – Similar to embolization, sclerotherapy involves a catheter placed in the varicose vein. Sclerosant (a solution that irritates the vein walls) is injected, damaging the vein and causing it to close off. Again, once the vein is sealed, the blood reroutes itself to a healthy vein.

What Happens After The Embolization Procedure?

Patients go home typically 1-2 hours after the procedure. The patient typically return to normal activity within days. 

Here at Houston Vein and Vascular, we offer varicocele embolization as an outpatient treatment option. 

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