South Florida Vascular Associates South Florida Vascular Associates

Monday, August 13, 2012

Varicocele Embolization Repair for Infertility

Varicocele Embolization Repair for Infertility
Minimally invasive, No general anesthesia, No pain, No down time

Varicoceles are fairly common, affecting 15% of men overall and 40% of men with known infertility issues. Poor circulation caused by the varicoceles results in a higher blood temperature that raises the temperature of the testes, which can serve as a barrier to sperm production and can damage or destroy sperm that is created.

Varicoceles are a tangled network of blood vessels or swelling of the veins on the testicles. It is similar to varicose veins in the legs but in this condition, a vein called the gonadal vein has weak defective valves resulting in the blood pooling in varicose veins in the scrotum. Sometimes, varicoceles cause no symptoms and are harmless. But sometimes a varicocele causes pain, testicular atrophy (shrinkage), or fertility problems.


 

Varicoceles can be repaired and are commonly treated by a urologist through a procedure called varicoceleligation surgery. During this procedure an incision is made is made is the skin above the scrotum, cutting down to the testicular veins and tying them off with sutures. It is usually performed under general anesthesia in a hospital setting. Although patients leave the hospital the same day, there is a two to three week recovery period.

Alternatively, at South Florida Vascular Associates, a nonsurgical minimally invasive procedure called varicocele embolization, can be done without general anesthesia by one of our  interventional radiologists to repair a varicocele.  During this procedure a small tube is inserted into the femoral vein in the groin or a vein in the neck through a small nick in the skin. The skin is numbed for this procedure and it is not painful.  Next a small catheter or tube is painlessly guided into the abdomen and into the varicocele vein under the guidance of x-ray imaging. The vein is then intentionally closed off by plugging it with small metal coils and a special medication. This procedure takes 30 minutes and the patient goes home a few hours later with only a band aid at the puncture site. The patient can immediately resume their non external activities.

Advantages of Varicocele Ebolization
•    Performed under local anesthesia with mild sedation
•    Performed on an outpatient basis in our endovascular suite, not in the hospital
•    No surgical incision in the groin, only a tiny hole where a catheter is placed
•    If you have varicoceles on both sides, you can have them fixed at the same time through one vein   puncture site(surgery requires 2 separate open incision)
•    It is as effective as surgery,as measured by improvement in pain, semen analysis and pregnancy rates
•    Lower rate of complications compared to surgery, Infection has not been reported after embolization

If you have been diagnosed with varicoceles, call our office to learn more about varicoceles embolization and after your procedure leave our office with only a band aid at the puncture site. To make an appointment for a consultation click here.


1 comment:

  1. Your blog is really nice; it has some great information about Varicocele. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete