What Can I Do About Varicoceles?

Doctor urologist holds a picture of the patients ultrasound whose epididymal cyst Pain in your scrotum can be debilitating and make daily activities a challenge.

You may think the pain means you’ve pulled a muscle in the area. But sometimes, this issue is more than what it seems. Prolonged pain in your scrotal area may be related to Varicoceles

Here are some signs to look for if you believe you have varicoceles and how to treat them.

What Causes Varicoceles?

Varicoceles are testicular veins that have pooled with blood.  They usually start between 15 and 25 years old and form from enlarged veins in the scrotum.  It’s believed that defective scrotal veins are a cause of Varicoceles. When valves in scrotal veins malfunction, it can cause blood flow to slow down. Sluggish blood flow means your heart has to work harder to deliver blood through the area. This combination creates extra pressure in the vein, causing it to swell and cause discomfort.

Symptoms of Varicoceles

Data suggests that 15 out of every 100 men has Varicoceles. Most Varicoceles are harmless. But, some men can develop noticeable symptoms.

These can include:

  • Differently sized testicles
  • Dull, aching pain 
  • A mass in the scrotum
  • Infertility

You may notice varicoceles during a self-examination. The way varicoceles look and feel gives them a description of a bag of worms. If you have symptoms and notice changes in your scrotum, speak to your doctor as soon as possible.

How Are They Treated?

A urologist can confirm the diagnosis of varicoceles from a physical examination. Once varicoceles are confirmed, varicocele embolization is the treatment of choice for urologists. The procedure involves inserting a small catheter into your jugular to send it to the faulty vein(s). The catheter delivers blocking agents to stop blood flow to the varicocele. Without blood flow, the varicocele shrinks and dies off. The procedure is a minimally-invasive alternative to surgery that takes a few hours. Varicocele embolization uses only local anesthesia and leaves no scarring at the incision site. With a 90 percent success rate, you can be confident that the procedure is safe and effective. It only requires a short observation period before you go home. 

If you want to learn more about varicoceles, contact The Vascular Institute of Virginia. Schedule your consultation at any of our 3 locations by calling us at 703-763-5224.

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