Varicocele: Treatment, symptoms, advice and help
Varicocele is a condition in which the veins of the scrotum get enlarged and tortuous.
Varicocele: Incidence, age and sex
They are most frequently diagnosed when a patient is between 15–30 years of age and is rare after the age of 40. They occur in 15-20% of all males and in 40% of infertile males.
Causes and prevention of varicocele
Malfunctioning valves or compression of the vein by a nearby structure, can cause blood to pool in the veins, which results in dilatation and increased pressure in the veins, leading to the formation of a varicocele.
Signs and symptoms of varicocele: Diagnosis
Symptoms of a varicocele may include a dragging or aching pain within scrotum, feeling of heaviness in the testicle, shrinking of the testicles and visible enlarged vein.
Upon palpation of the scrotum, a non-tender, twisted mass along the spermatic cord is felt likened to feeling a bag of worms. The diagnosis of a varicocele is essentially clinical.
Complications of varicocele include testicular atrophy, low sperm count and male infertility.
Varicocelectomy, i.e. surgical removal of the dilated vein is the treatment of choice. An alternative to surgery is embolization, a minimally invasive treatment for varicocele that is performed by an interventional radiologist. Embolization is an effective treatment for post-surgical varicoceles. Medical treatment with L-carnitine may produce some improvement.