Varicocele Embolization

What is Varicocele Embolization?

A varicocele is an abnormal enlargement of veins within the scrotum that can cause pain, swelling, and infertility. A varicocele embolization, also known as a catheter-directed embolization, is a minimally invasive, image guided technique that blocks blood flow to the varicoceles reducing pressure and pain and may also improve sperm quality to improve fertility.

Common Questions

  • Why would my physician recommend Varicocele Embolizaiton?

    Your physician would recommend a Varicocele Embolization if you are experiencing pain, swelling, and infertility associated with a varicocele.

  • How does Varicocele Embolization work?

    During this procedure, a tiny nick is made in the groin area. Using specialized X-ray guidance, a catheter is guided through the vein near the location of the varicocele. Then, tiny coils and/or embolic fluid are injected through the catheter, blocking the blood flow to the varicoceles causing the pressure to be reduced in the veins.

  • What do I need to do before a Varicocele Embolization procedure?

    You will be given detailed instructions by our staff before your procedure. In general, do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your procedure. This includes breath mints and gum. Patients should notify staff if they are diabetic, taking anticoagulants (blood thinners) or allergic to anesthesia. Be sure to bring your insurance card, photo ID, list of current medications (dose and frequency) and any diagnostic testing results.

  • What should I expect during a Varicocele Embolization procedure?

    During the exam, your vital signs will be closely monitored. You will receive a sedative or anesthesia. In addition, you may be given antibiotics to prevent infection, as well as anti-nausea and pain medications. A small nick is made where the catheter will be inserted and that area will be sterilized and numbed. Using an imaging device, the catheter is guided near the varicocele. An embolic material (particles) is injected through the catheter to block the vein. Once the vein is blocked, the catheter is removed, pressure is applied to the incision area and it is covered with a bandage.

  • What will I feel during a Varicocele Embolization procedure?

    You may feel a slight sting when the needle is inserted for the IV line and the anesthesia. You will feel relaxed and sleepy during the procedure. You may feel some pressure when the catheter is inserted, but no serious pain.

  • What should I expect after a Varicocele Embolization procedure?

    You will be observed for two to three hours after the procedure. Be sure to arrange a ride home. You will be back to normal activities within 24 hours.

  • How do I schedule a Varicocele Embolization procedure with Fairfax Vascular Center?

    Before scheduling an appointment, you will need to get a referral from your physician. Once you have a referral, you can schedule a consultation by calling 703.698.4475 Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm.

  • When are appointments offered for Varicocele Embolization procedures?

    Appointments are available at Fairfax Vascular Center Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm. Learn more about this location.

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