Non-Surgical Treatment for Varicoceles

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Small coils and a fluid substance are inserted into a blood artery to direct blood flow from a varicocele during the minimally invasive treatment known as varicocele embolization. An interventionist radiologist (IR) performs the operation utilizing a catheter in an outpatient clinic while guided by images.

What is a varicocele?

A clump of veins in the scrotum that expand abnormally is referred to as a varicocele, and it resembles varicose veins in the legs, a condition. A bag containing the testicles, arteries, and a portion of a spermatic cord makes up the male sexual organ known as the scrotum. Sperms for the spermatic cable are produced in the testes. Ejaculation of the sperm occurs via the urethra.

What conditions call for varicocele embolization?

In certain instances, treating a varicocele might not be necessary. However, therapy for varicocele is required if the problem results in symptoms like discomfort, testicular atrophy, infertility, or if a patient with varicocele has to utilize assisted reproductive technology.

The main methods of varicocele therapy include:

  • Surgery
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Microsurgery
  • Varicocele Embolization

Although surgery & varicocele embolization risk has equal success percentages, surgery has a substantially more extended recovery period. Therefore, if a person does have a unilateral varicocele, varicocele embolization is often a favored alternative. For varicocele involving both testicles, surgery, particularly microsurgery, is a preferable option.

How is varicocele embolization performed?

An outpatient treatment called varicocele embolization is used. The process takes about an hour or two. The following can be anticipated generally:

The subject will sign the consent document for the treatment. The interventional radiology dept’s procedure room is used to carry out the operation. The subject is placed behind a particular x-ray machine and draped with sterile material.

The groin region is cleaned with an antiseptic agent as part of the site preparation process. The inside part of the right thigh is given a local anesthetic injection to numb it. A catheter, a small, hollow medical-grade tube, is inserted using x-ray guidance into the targeted vein.

The catheter receives a contrast dye injection, then seen on an x-ray monitor. The catheter is positioned correctly when the dye is found in the intended location. Whenever the dye is injected, there may be a slight warming sensation.

Once the catheter is in the proper place, a tiny coil or liquid termed a sclerosing agent is delivered into the injured vein, diverting the blood flow towards other veins close by. Healthy veins begin to take over the role of the dysfunctional veins as they shut down, enabling the blood to leave the scrotum regularly. The varicocele is released from pressure, and adequate blood flow is reinstated.

After the operation, the interventionist radiologist will remove the catheter and provide gentle pressure to the entrance site to stop any bleeding. Afterward, the thigh entrance point will be covered with a bandage.

Throughout the surgery, the medical staff will closely monitor the patient’s blood pressure & heart rate.


Whether a person opts for surgery or embolization therapy for varicoceles, both may significantly lessen a person’s sensations of ache and discomfort if they exist. Restoring the testicles to their natural size is one of the long-lasting advantages of varicocele therapy. Men with varicocele who are having trouble becoming a father may improve their sperm quality, quantity, and DNA quality. The return of testosterone levels to normal is among the additional advantages of post varicocele embolization therapy.

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