What is a varicocele?
A varicocele is an abnormality of the veins of the testicles that results from allowing blood to flow the wrong way. The veins become bigger and more obvious, rather like varicose veins in the leg. Varicoceles can cause various problems including discomfort and pain, and may be associated with infertility.
In the past, an open operation would have been necessary to get rid of the varicocele, but they can now be treated by an image guided minimally invasive procedure called a varicocele embolisation.
Embolisation is a way of blocking these veins and causing the varicocele to disappear, without an operation. When the abnormal veins are blocked the testicles will continue to drain blood normally by other routes.
The procedure is performed from inside the veins after making a tiny nick in the skin.
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