Varicocele Embolisation

What is a Varicocele?

A varicocele is a collection of enlarged (dilated) veins in the scrotum – similar to varicose veins that occur in the legs.

Where do they occur? Are varicocele painful?

Varicocele Embolisation diagram
Diagram of where a varicocele can form

It occurs next to and above one or both testicles.  A varicocele often produces no signs or symptoms and is rarely painful.  With time, varicoceles may enlarge and become more noticeable.

What treatment is available for varicoceles?

An embolisation is a procedure performed to eliminate blood flow to the abnormal veins (varicies) and redirect blood flow to normal veins.

Who performs a varicocele embolisation?

A specialist known as an Interventional Radiologist often performs this procedure. Dr John Vrazas performs varicocele embolisation at Melbourne Institute of Vascular and Interventional Radiology (MIVIR).

What does a varicocele embolisation procedure involve?

It involves the injection of contrast (x-ray dye) to visualise both the normal and abnormal veins of the testes. The contrast is injected through a thin plastic tube called a catheter, which is passed through a sheath inserted into the femoral vein.

Why would I need this procedure?

Your Doctor may ask for this procedure to be performed because you may experience some or all of the following:

  • Increase size with standing or physical exertion
  • In young men, the presence of a varicocele impairs sperm production and can often be improved with treatment.
  • Very rarely pain.

What is the anticipated recovery time for a varicocele embolisation?

We recommend the following;

  • Rest quietly for the following 24-48 hours.
  • No strenuous activity for the following 24-48 hours.
  • Avoid activities where repetitive bending is required.
  • If you notice any swelling, bruising or pain at the injection site that continues to increase, call an ambulance or present to your nearest Emergency Department.

Is there a fact sheet about the varicocele embolisation and what to expect?

Yes! Find our varicocele embolisation fact sheet here.

Fact Sheet

Varicocele Embolisation Procedure Fact Sheet

Referral Forms

Interventional Radiology

Vascular Ultrasound

Contact Us

Procedure Enquiry

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Author: Dr John Vrazas MB,BS FRANZCR