A varicocele is a cluster of enlarged veins in the scrotum that causes blood to accumulate and increased pressure in the veins. Approximately 10% of all men have varicoceles, with the highest occurrence in younger men. Also, approximately 30% of infertile men have varicoceles. Varicoceles are treated with embolization, during which abnormal veins are permanently closed, redirecting blood through normal venous channels.
Varicocele Embolization is a minimally invasive procedure used to shut off blood supply in a varicocele. An interventional radiologist uses X-ray imaging to guide a small catheter to the abnormal vein. Contrast dye is injected into the vein to visualize all pathways leading to the varicocele; then, the affected veins or “pathways” are permanently closed, and blood is redirected to normal venous channels.