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Varicocele Repair

Most varicoceles do not require treatment. If you experience pain or atrophy of the testicle or if you are infertile, you may wish to undergo one of several treatments:

  •  Microsurgical varicocelectomy is usually considered to be the best treatment for relieving pain caused by the varicocele, and also to improve semen parameters, testicular function, and pregnancy rates in couples with male factor infertility associated with varicocele. A microsurgical varicocelectomy is performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. A small incision (2cm) is made just above the pubic bone. The veins are then isolated and tied off so that the varicose veins are permanently closed and blood flow is redirected to the unaffected veins.
  • Laparoscopy is performed less often because it can present more risks. Laparoscopy may have the advantage of identifying veins higher up, where your surgeon likely will need to tie off fewer veins. The urologist makes several tiny incisions in your abdomen, using tiny instruments under general anesthesia to repair the varicocele.
  • Percutaneous embolization is usually performed when other approaches have failed. A radiologist passes a tube through a vein in the groin to the affected area and releases a coil or balloon to block off the affected vein.
Restoring Male Fertility

As sperm take about eight weeks to generate, male fertility is typically restored three to four months after the varicocele treatment. These procedures do not guarantee fertility, however. Talk with your doctor to fully understand your potential risks and benefits.

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