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I think I have a variocoele. It's not very painful, but occasionally feels uncomfortable and it's ugly, so I'd like to have it removed. What are the recommended treatment options? Isn't it just a varicose vein? Thanks.
A varicocoele is a completely different kind of enlarged vein with a
different source vein. These are treated by
Urologists, in a different fashion.
We have treated varicoeles in the past with sclerotherapy (injections).
This helps to reduce the visibility of the vein and should help to
alleviate any pain that the patient may have.
Varicoceles can be treated surgically or by a minimally invasive
procedure called varicocele emboliztion. I would recommend the latter
because it is an outpatient procedure with essentially no recovery
Varicoceles are varicose veins in the cord that carries blood to and from the testicle. They are found within the scrotum, usually above the testicle. Some varicoceles cause pain with lifting or straining and some may result in a lower sperm count since they increase the temperature of the testicle. Most varicocele procedures have been performed to treat one or both of these conditions. The surgical approach to varicoceles by General Surgeons or Urologists involves an incision in the groin much like the incision for an inguinal hernia repair.
A newer approach to treating varicoceles involves sealing the varicocele closed (occlusion) by passing a small tube (catheter) up the vein at the groin into the abdominal veins and then down the testicular vein to the level of the abdominal wall. Small coils of platinum spring wires are then placed in the testicular vein causing the vein to seal shut. This procedure causes minimal discomfort and recovery is much faster than the open varicocele surgery. This procedure is relatively new and long term follow-up is not well established but many patients choose this approach.
This "coil embolization" is performed by some Vascular Surgeons and by Interventional Radiologists.
Stephen F. Daugherty, MD, FACS, RVT
Medical Director, VeinCare Centers of Tennessee
Tennessee Vascular Center
Clarksville Surgical Associates, PLC
647 Dunlop Lane, Suite 100
Clarksville, Tennessee 37040
Varicoceles can be treated by either urologists (surgical) or interventional radiologists (IR). Current IR & surgical techniques are minimally invasive with excellent results. The interventional radiology method entails placing a catheter in the vein that is causing the problem and closing it down with a variety of substances.
Varicoceles are dilated veins around the testicle which can cause pain and possibly lead to male infertility (impotence). These are treated by urologists and you should consult one for further info.
Yes, it is a varicosed vein around the testicle.
You need to see a Urologist for further treatment.
This is not something that a vascular surgeon usually treats.
Although phlebologists are well-trained in treating all types of veins,when it comes to a varicocele, it is best left in the hands of a urologist, who specializes in male infertility.
Some of my patients and found temporary relief by icing the area and wearing tight bicycle neoprene shorts. This however, is just a temporary treatment and surgery may be indicated especially if it is painful or there is concern about future fertility.