A varicocele is an abnormal enlargement of the veins within the scrotum. Varicoceles are present in about 15% of all men and between 35-40% of men with male factor infertility.

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Effect of Varicoceles

Varicoceles cause pooling of the blood in the scrotum, raising the testicular temperature. This higher temperature may have an adverse effect on sperm production and testicular function. Varicoceles may also cause pain and swelling in the scrotum.


Usually, the patient notices the varicoceles or they may be found by the physician during a physical exam. Sometimes symptoms are subtle and only noticeable when standing or straining. The diagnosis of varicocele can be confirmed with a testicular ultrasound.

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Treating Your Condition

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An Interventional Radiologist uses imaging guidance to pass coils into the varicocele veins to divert blood away from the varicocele. This is an outpatient procedure done with a local anesthetic and mild sedation.

Microsurgical varicocelectomy or varicocele ligation: This is an outpatient procedure to repair the enlarged veins. By performing a varicocelectomy with use of a microscope, treatment outcomes are improved and the risk of surgical complications is reduced.

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