The veins in the body have valves that ensure that blood flows in only one direction. These valves help to direct blood flow back towards the heart; however, these valves can fail over time. Most people associate the failure of venous valves with the development of varicose veins in the legs. However, this can occur in me as well to the testicular veins and lead to the development of a varicocele.
Definition of a Varicocele
A varicocele is abnormal distension of the pampiniform venous plexus, the venous drainage from the testicle.
Anatomy of a Varicocele
A varicocele occurs in the scrotum. This network of veins is called the pampiniform plexus. This plexus of veins helps to drain deoxygenated blood from the testicles and direct it back towards the heart. There are valves in this plexus that helps to prevent blood from flowing in the wrong direction. Some patients have a genetic lack of valves in the pampiniform plexus. For others, dysfunctional valves or impaired venous return are the problem. As the result, the veins will swell as blood pools in the scrotum. This is called a varicocele.
Causes of Varicocele Development
There are numerous causes of a varicocele. As stated above some patients have a congenital lack of valves in the pampiniform plexus. Other patients have compression of the outflow of blood flow in pelvis as in nutcracker syndrome. Most varicoceles form on the left side as a consequence of anatomy.
Symptoms of a Varicocele
The most important symptom is a swelling of the scrotum that develops due to the pooling of blood in the plexus. Other symptoms include:
- An ache or pain in the scrotum
- A heavy feeling within the testicles
- A palpable cord-like structure representing the enlargement of veins
- Fertility problems
Diagnosis of a Varicocele
Most varicoceles are diagnosed using ultrasound. The ultrasound will help to demonstrate the engorged veins of the pampiniform plexus. Occasionally computed tomography is used as well although venography remains the gold standard.
Prevention of a Varicocele
This is usually a congenital problem. There is no way to avoid it.
Am I At Risk?
Risk factors for varicocele development would be poor outflow of the venous system such as those found in nutcracker syndrome or extensive deep vein thrombosis.
Treatment of a Varicocele
Varicoceles have traditionally been treated by open surgery by a urologist. However, endovascular therapy using embolization of the affected veins by a vascular surgeon provides a faster recovery with often the same results.
To learn more about treatment procedures for this condition please visit the following:
Patients having a varicocele is a serious and sensitive situation that needs to be fixed as soon as possible to preserve the body’s ability to deliver proper blood flow. Varicoceles can cause serious pain and can have serious consequences which deserves the attention of an exquisite vascular surgeon. Exceptional surgeons like Dr. Jenna Kazil spend years training and treating embolizing varicoceles. Patients in need of varicocele embolization treatment on Florida’s West Coast should locate a good vascular surgeon who has the surgical skills necessary to perform these serious surgical operations for the benefit of their patients. Dr. J. Kazil is a skillful vascular surgeon who has developed an impressive track record of successful cases in embolizing varicoceles. Dr. Kazil understands the important circumstances that drive the treatment with the accuracy and compassion that everyone expects from a fine vascular surgeon.Jenna Kazil, MD, FACS, RPVI is a leading surgical specialist working as a vascular and general surgeon seeing patients from South Sarasota to East Desoto and Hardee to North Hillsborough to West Manatee and Pinellas counties. Patients requiring embolization of varicocoles should contact Dr. Kazil at the Florida Surgical Clinic located in Bradenton, FL today to schedule an appointment with a unique experienced physician that possesses a unique blend of expert skills and compassionate care.