How is the Varicocele Embolization process?
It is done with the patient awake, under local anesthesia. A catheter is inserted into the right groin or a vein in the neck. The catheter goes forward to the dilated or varicose veins near the testicle. When the catheter reaches those areas, products that clog or block these varicose veins are injected.
This process of blocking or closing the veins is called embolization. This way, it allows to treat symptoms (pain and increase or heaviness on the testicle) and improve the spermatozoa function by occluding all the dilated veins near the testicle.
The embolization is painless, and it takes about 30 minutes to be done, with prompt recovery. The patient comes in and gets out on his own. There is no need to be admitted to the hospital.
Why has no one told me about the varicocele embolization?
Many ask this question after hearing about the process or after being treated by us.
The answer is not linear. However, in Medicine, relatively new procedures take a long time to be accepted by the overall medical community and take even more time to be implemented.
Many doctors are still unfamiliar with this treatment. The specialists in the area are afraid to refer patients since they lack experience in this treatment.
Many doctors think varicocele embolization can be dangerous or ineffective. We have already treated hundreds of patients with varicocele, obtaining excellent results and no complications.
How is the recovery after the varicocele embolization?
It is excellent, with prompt recovery. When the procedure is done, a patch is placed on the groin or neck. Since it is a procedure realized through a vein, the patient can be discharged and start walking normally usually after 1 to 2 hours after the treatment.
The patient recovers in a room for 2 hours. Usually, patients with no pain can be discharged on the same day of the embolization, that is to say, it is an outpatient treatment. We recommend that the patient rests for the rest of the day and avoids extraordinary physical effort for the next day.
The patient can return to his normal life immediately. Since the procedure does not cause pain, usually there is no need for medication. However, in some cases of slight pain, pain medication can be prescribed, and anti-inflammatory medication for inflammation that may arise after the embolization.
When do I start noticing differences in the testicle?
Immediately. On the very same day, the patient can tell that his treated testicle and scrotum are less swollen than before the treatment. The sensation of pain and heaviness that the patient had in the testicle affected by varicocele disappears in the day after the embolization treatment.
In infertility and spermatozoa dysfunction cases, it can take 1 to 3 months for the normal spermatozoa function to get back to normal.
How long does the treatment last?
Usually, the treatment is permanent, that is to say: it lasts forever.
I had varicocele recurrence after conventional surgery, can I be submitted to embolization?
Sometimes after surgery, varicocele recurrence can happen. In these cases, depending on the type of surgery and the changes made to the testicular veins, the embolization could be harder. Although it is not possible to assure the success of the intervention, we can always try.
What is the connection between varicocele and my sexual function?
Usually, none. That is to say, usually, the varicocele does not cause sexual dysfunction nor is related to it. In the same way, the embolization treatment does not interfere with sexual function.