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Understanding Varicocele Embolisation

Varicocele affects 15% of healthy men and up to 40% of men experiencing infertility. Though the majority of men will not require treatment for their varicocele, most seek treatment to target specific issues. Usually, to reduce discomfort or treat male infertility.

Mild symptoms are usually treated with medication to alleviate pain and discomfort. Whereas, those experiencing more severe symptoms such as pain and infertility may need to see a doctor for a more aggressive treatment plan.

Among the options available are, surgery and varicocele embolisation. Both procedures come with successful results but are both very different procedures.

The most glaring difference would be the downtime between these procedures. Surgery to treat Varicocele can take up to 3 weeks to recover from whereas embolisation would only take 1-2 days. That’s a pretty drastic difference – especially when both procedures produce equally good results.

Plus, with embolisation, you mitigate the general risks that come with any surgery.

Embolisation is minimally invasive and comes with a 90% long term success rate with almost no scarring.

What to Expect at NBIR

The process starts with a consultation with an experienced Interventional Radiologist. After discussing your issues and an examination, the IR specialist will recommend the next steps.

At NBIR you can be sure to only be treated through our methods only if it is your best option.


How Embolisation Works

Varicocele embolisation is usually performed as an outpatient procedure under sedation and local anaesthesia. A tiny skin incision is made either in the neck or groin.

Then, a small catheter is inserted into the varicocele vein under X-ray guidance. Once the catheter is in position, special metal coils and sometimes foam is used to close abnormal veins.

The whole process only takes about 40- 60 minutes, with the rest of the time spent in hospital waiting for sedation to wear off. An overnight stay in the hospital is not necessary!

The right lifestyle, however, may just help manage the symptoms. Exercise and a tailored diet would be the first step in regaining control over BPH.


Are you suitable?

If you are struggling with varicocele symptoms and wish to get it treated, you are already a candidate for embolisation.

The decision lies within your preference for traditional surgical methods or embolisation. If you, like many men, wish to avoid an incision in the groin and do not want to risk damage to the tube carrying the sperm from the testicle. Then, embolisation may be a better option.

Of course, there are instances where embolisation may not be able to give you the best results, which will be determined during a medical consultation. 

Though surgery is still the more popular option, it is important to learn all the options available to you. Embolisation comes with the same results, shorter downtime and fewer long-term complications.

Let's Discuss Your Treatment Options

Regardless of the choice you make, getting varicocele treatment will help alleviate uncomfortable symptoms. It is also a long-term solution for male infertility should the condition progress to that stage.

Book a consultation with Dr Quigley