WHAT IS A VARICOCELE?
A varicocele is formed when valves inside the veins along the spermatic cord, prevent blood from flowing properly causing swelling and widening of the veins. A similar process occurs with varicose veins in the legs.
Whom does varicocele affect?
Varicoceles affect 15% of the adult male population and are more common in males between 15 and 25 years old. Generally, their development is slow and they have a tendency to appear more often on the left side of the scrotum.
The sudden appearance of a varicocele in an older man may be caused by a kidney tumor that can block the blood flow to a vein. Once again, this is more common on the left than on the right side.
How to detect varicocele?
The most common symptoms are enlarged, winding veins in the scrotum, painless testicular tumor, scrotal swelling, or bulging within the scrotum.
How is varicocele diagnosed?
The evaluation of patients with varicocele includes a detailed medical and reproductive history, a physical examination, a testicular ultrasound scan and a spermiogram or seminogram. (diagnostic test to analyze the semen).
Are varicoceles associated with infertility?
Varicocele is present in approximately 40% of men with infertility. Increase of venous reflux temperature seems to play an important role in testicular dysfunction associated with varicocele, although pathophysiological mechanisms involved are not yet fully understood. Medical data shows that surgery improves fertility, sperm production and quality.
How can it be corrected?
Surgery to correct a varicocele is called varicocelectomy, it is a simple surgery which requires an overnight stay at hospital. Sometimes an alternative to surgery is varicocele embolization depending on its severity.