"Most varicoceles can be nonsurgically
treated with embolization"
Prof Saim Yılmaz, MD
IN VARICOCELE, SURGERY IS NOT THE ONLY OPTION
When they consult a urologists, varicocele patients are frequently told that surgery is the only therapeutic option for this disease. In fact, it is possible to treat varicocele nonsurgically, using a small catheter inserted through the vein in the arm or groin. In this method, which is called embolization, the incompetent vein that causes varicocele is first identified on angiography and then it is closed with special materials. The most distinct advantage of embolization is that during the procedure, a a film (venography) is taken and the refluxing veins can be easily seen and differentiated from the normal veins. As a result, abnormal veins that cause varicocele can be correctly identified and successfully closed in the same session while the normal veins that have a good function are not touched. Other advantages of embolization include use of local anesthesia, absence of complications such as infection, hydrocele and testicular damage and possibility to discharge the patient several hours after the procedure. In one study, the patients who previously underwent both surgery and embolization were asked which treatment they would prefer and they all answered that they would prefer embolization (Fereley et al. Br J Urol).