Relieve Discomfort and Improve Fertility Problems with Varicocele Repair
Varicocele is a network of abnormally large veins in the scrotum. It is thought to occur when the valves in the testicular vein malfunction, causing blood to collect in the scrotum. This abnormality can cause persistent discomfort and in some cases, impair male fertility. Dr. Paul Turek has discovered varicocele in approximately one-third of men that he evaluates for fertility-related problems. Although the exact mechanism by which varicocele affects fertility is unknown, Dr. Turek and other experts believe that the collection of blood in the scrotum causes the testes to overheat and interrupts their ability to make sperm and testosterone. The objective of varicocele treatment is to “cool off” the testicles by stopping the backward flow of blood from the body to the scrotum. Evidence suggests that repairing a varicocele can improve testicular function and help men go on to father biological children.
When to See Dr. Turek for Treatment
Not all varicoceles need to be treated. You may not know you have a varicocele, and may not experience any noticeable discomfort or pain from the abnormality.
On the other hand, if you have been diagnosed with a varicocele that could be interfering with your ability to father a biological child, affecting your testosterone levels or causing you scrotal pain or discomfort, you should seriously consider having it repaired.
Dr. Turek can discuss the procedure in detail with you during a personal consultation. Before suggesting varicocele repair, Dr. Turek will want to confirm there are no other obvious causes for male infertility (e.g., a genetic abnormality or an obstruction of the reproductive tract). Blood tests and semen analysis may be taken when deciding whether to recommend varicocele repair. If repaired for pain, Dr. Turek would want to confirm that the pain pattern fits with a varicocele and is not due to other causes.
A Minimally Invasive Solution to Varicocele
There are several ways to repair a varicocele. Dr. Turek prefers the microscopic subinguinal microsurgical approach to varicocele repair, as it offers the highest success rates with lowest complication rates. He helped to popularize this approach in the 1990s, and has since trained over 50 urology residents, fellows and practicing urologists in the technique. As a master microsurgeon, Dr. Turek’s complication rates are extremely low.
The procedure is a short outpatient procedure, performed under light general anesthesia along with local anesthesia. Total treatment time is approximately an hour. There is minimal post-operative pain that can be easily managed with either non-prescription or prescription medication. Most patients can resume work and day-to-day activities within two days.
Varicocele repair involves interrupting or tying off the veins leading from the testis, leaving vasal veins intact to carry blood to the body.
To begin the procedure, Dr. Turek creates a small incision in the upper scrotum and exposes the spermatic cord. Using an operating microscope to help him visualize the area, he inspects it for abnormal veins that are feeding the varicocele. These veins are interrupted or tied off, while the artery and lymphatic vessels and nerves are spared.
After returning the spermatic cord to its bed, Dr. Turek closes the incision with two layers, placing steri-strips and a bandage.
Contact The Turek Clinic
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Turek to discuss varicocele repair, please call or email The Turek Clinic today.