A varicocele is a varicose vein in the testicle and scrotum. Just as with vein disease of the legs, one-way valves become damaged and allow blood to pool. In the case of varicoceles, the valves that allow blood to flow from the testicles and scrotum back to the heart become damaged, which can cause pain in or around the testicles. The result is backwards blood flow that causes the vein to become enlarged and may be painful. Symptoms of varicoceles include:
- Pain around testicles especially when exercising, standing or sitting for long periods of time
- Scrotal swelling
- Fertility problems
- Testicular atrophy, or shrinking of the testicles
- Scrotum appears like a bag of worms
Abnormal blood flow due to varicoceles can be detected with a scrotal ultrasound. An embolization for varicoceles can be performed to improve a patient’s symptoms.
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