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Treatment / Varicocele Embolization

Varicocele Embolization

Approximately 10% of all men have varicoceles. They are most prevalent in men ages 15-35. Among infertile couples nearly 30% of men have varicoceles.

Varicocele treatment has traditionally involved open surgery, requiring general anesthesia and a surgical incision above the scrotum (or higher in the flank area) to expose the affected veins. However, now there is a minimally invasive treatment option called a Varicocele Embolization.

This procedure has been successful at eliminating varicoceles for thousands of men, and has patients back to normal activities in only a few days.

Am I a candidate for a Varicocele Embolization?

When you come to be treated for varicocele, your doctor will talk to you about your medical history and perform diagnostic testing, which may include a scrotal ultrasound. Once it is determined that you are a good candidate for varicocele embolization, the next step is treatment. Candidates for embolization are men who suffer from testicular pain, discomfort or infertility.

Benefits of Varicocele Embolization over surgery:

  • Requires NO general anesthesia
  • Results in NO scarring
  • Requires NO overnight stay (same day procedure)

What to Expect from the Procedure

Varicocele embolization is an outpatient procedure performed by inserting a small tube (catheter) into the groin (or neck) through a small nick in the skin. The catheter is guided up into the abdomen and directly into the varicocele vein under the guidance of x-ray imaging. A dye is injected to create an x-ray map (venogram) of the vein and tiny metal coils or other embolizing agents are inserted through the catheter to block the blood flow to the vein.

Patients are typically observed for a few hours and go home the same day. Total recovery time is generally less than 24 hours and patients often return to work the next day.

Advantages of Treatment Compared to Traditionally Surgery

  • Success rates of 90%, similar to surgical techniques
  • Quicker recovery time; days vs. weeks as compared to open surgery
  • Reduced risk of infection
  • Same day procedure, allowing you to recover at home

Whether or not you are a candidate for varicocele embolization will depend on your diagnosis and consultation with your interventional radiologist. But if you suffer from a varicocele and are looking for treatment that can offer a safe, quick solution, varicocele embolization may be the answer for you. Call IVC today at 503-612-0498 to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also read our Men’s Health Brochure.

* This information about Varicocele Embolization was reviewed by Dr. Jason R. Bauer. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us using the form below.

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We are announcing that Interventional and Vascular Consultants will be closing as of March 10, 2023.

We would like to thank you for the trust you have given us over the years, participating in your healthcare needs has been a privilege.

To assist in a smooth transition to a new provider, you may access your records from your MyHealth account or request a copy of medical records by clicking the link below and completing the Release of Information form.

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Please know that we have greatly valued our relationship with you and wish you the best.


Jason Bauer, MD RVT
Michael Pfister, MD RVT

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