What is Varicocele Surgery or Varicocelectomy?

Varicocele Surgery

Varicocele is a condition where the veins in the scrotum are abnormally enlarged. Similar to the varicose vein on the legs or hands, Varicocele is varicose on the testicles. 

While Varicocele is known to be one of the most prominent causes of male infertility, the good news is that Varicocle can be corrected with the surgical technique called Varicocelectomy which greatly helps in treating the problem of male infertility.

Identifying Varicocele Condition

Around 15% of all men have this Varicoceles, but not all are aware of their condition until they are evaluated for infertility. According to research, 35-40% primary infertility and 80% of secondary infertility cases are caused by Varicoceles. Varicocele is found to be prevalent in 25% of the cases of abnormal semen analysis.

One of the common symptoms to identify Varicocle is the enlargement of the vein. Men even feel a mild to the sharp sensation of pain in their scrotum. A physical examination is done followed by an ultrasound to diagnose and evaluate the condition.

How Can Varicocele Affect Male Fertility?

The temperature in testicles is generally 2 degrees centigrade less than that of the rest of the body. The enlarged veins impair the testicular blood flow causing the increase in temperature which reduces the production of testosterone, thus reducing the number of spermatozoa in the semen. 

This increase in temperature also induces oxidative stress that damages the health of sperms, their motility, and morphology leading to infertility.

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Varicocele Surgery Procedure

Varicocele Surgery Procedure

A one-inch incision is made in the groin region, to easily identify the structure of the spermatic cord, testicle arteries, lymphatics and small periarterial veins causing the Varicocele and they are ligated, thus alleviating the condition to improve the production and health of sperm.

This surgery can be performed using a variety of techniques traditional (open), laparoscopic or using embolization. 

It is generally a day care process, done under general or local anaesthesia and takes approximately 1-2 hours to complete.

What to Expect?

The Varicocelectomy shows a considerable improvement in the semen quality to about 60%-80%. This in its turn enhances the chance of pregnancy from 43% to 69% after controlling the female factors, within one to two years. The larger varicoceles, may incur more damage to the semen quality but are easier to repair compared to their smaller counterparts. However, the overall pregnancy rate is similar regardless to the size of the varicoceles.

There are minimal risks involved in the process apart from some swelling and pain that settles within a couple of days. In some cases, formation of the Hydrocele (watery fluid around the testicles) or Testicular Atrophy (shrunk testicles) may happen. However, chances are very low, about 1%-15% for Hydrocele and only about 1%-2% for Testicular Atrophy. Our specialists at Aeva fertility take utmost care in minimizing such risks and maximizing results for you.

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