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What is Varicocele Embolization?

A varicocele is an abnormal enlargement of veins within the scrotum that can cause pain, swelling, and infertility. A varicocele embolization, also known as a catheter-directed embolization, is a minimally invasive, image guided technique that blocks blood flow to the varicoceles reducing pressure and pain and may also improve sperm quality to improve fertility.

Symptoms of Varicocele:

  • Dull ache in testicle
  • Lump or swelling in the scrotum
  • Feeling of heaviness or dragging in the scrotum
  • Dilated veins in the scrotum that can be felt

How common is Varicocele?

  • Very common due to rapid growth at puberty
  • Blood can back up due to damage of the valves in the veins
  • Varicocele can develop in men from puberty on;
    nearly 20% to 43% men develop varicocele it at some point of their life

Frequently Asked Questions about Varicocele

Your physician would recommend a Varicocele Embolization if you are experiencing pain, swelling, and infertility associated with a varicocele.

During this procedure, a tiny nick is made in the groin area. Using specialized X-ray guidance, a catheter is guided through the vein near the location of the varicocele. Then, tiny coils and/or embolic fluid are injected through the catheter, blocking the blood flow to the varicoceles, reducing pressure in the veins.

During the exam, your vital signs will be closely monitored. You will receive a sedative or anesthesia. In addition, you may be given antibiotics to prevent infection, as well as anti-nausea and pain medications. A small nick is made where the catheter will be inserted and that area will be sterilized and numbed. Using an imaging device, the catheter is guided near the varicocele. An embolic material (particles) is injected through the catheter to block the vein. Once the vein is blocked, the catheter is removed, pressure is applied to the incision area and it is covered with a bandage.

You may feel a slight sting when the needle is inserted for the IV line and the anesthesia. You will feel relaxed and sleepy during the procedure. You may feel some pressure when the catheter is inserted, but no serious pain.

You will be observed for two to three hours after the procedure. Be sure to arrange a ride home. You will be back to normal activities within 24 hours.

Before scheduling an appointment, you may need to get a referral from your physician. Once you have a referral, you may schedule a consultation by calling 703.698.4475 Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm.

Why Fairfax Vascular Center is Right For You

We are one of the largest, longest standing interventional radiology practices with a team of physicians dedicated to vascular and vein procedures.

Fairfax Vascular Center specializes in performing minimally invasive procedures such as Varicocele Embolization with some of the longest standing experience in imaging and assessment of scrotal varicose veins in the region. Our Interventional Radiologists are highly skilled vascular and imaging specialists routinely assessing patients with scrotal varicose veins, conducting and interpreting their imaging, as well as providing treatment of scrotal varicose veins.

Thanks to our rigorous emphasis on quality of imaging, interpretation and clinical follow-up, we are able to provide our patients with the utmost in experience and care.

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Ask your physician to determine if Varicocele Embolization is an option to treat your scrotal pain.