What is male infertility due to varicocele?
A varicocele is an enlargement of veins within the scrotum (the loose pouch of skin that holds the testicles). Veins contain one-way valves that allow blood to flow from the testicles and scrotum back to the heart. When the valves do not work, the blood pools in the veins. The pooling of blood in these veins causes them to enlarge. The internal pressure and temperature may increase, possibly damaging the testicles and decreasing fertility. Symptoms of varicocele can include abnormal enlargement of veins in scrotum, dull ache or pain in the scrotum.
How do IRs treat varicoceles?
IRs treat this condition through a minimally invasive varicocele embolization. First, a tiny incision is made in the groin. Next, a thin catheter, resembling a strand of spaghetti, is passed through the vein and directed toward the varicoceles. The interventional radiologist injects X-ray dye to better see the veins. After locating the varicoceles, the interventional radiologist injects tiny coils to prevent blood flow to the varicoceles, reducing the pressure in the veins.
What can I expect during varicocele embolization?
Throughout the treatment, you’ll be awake but relaxed and pain-free. You are observed for approximately 2-3 hours after the treatment before being discharged home on the same day.
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