Varicocele is one of the most common diseases affecting the male reproductive tract. It consists in an abnormal dilating of the veins in the testicles. However it is more common in young, active people.
As Doctor Marco Tramarin, expert in Interventional Radiology at Humanitas, explains, “Those who suffer from it, report itches and heaviness in the pelvic area. Even though varicocele is not a severe condition, it is important to recognize it and treat it in time, in order to avoid becoming infertile. In fact, up to 95% patients with varicocele, present alterations in spermatogenesis.
Nowadays, the interventional radiologist performs the traditional surgical treatment together with a minimally invasive endovascular approach (embolization)”.
From traditional surgery to embolization
“Embolization is a safe, painless, daycare procedure. The interventional radiologist punctures the femoral vein and inserts a catheter, to “surf” through to the ill vein and to insert the embolizing or sclerosing agents that will close the ill blood vase. This procedure is performed under radiological control.
Humanitas is one of the few centers using, in selected cases, a special glue that has proven particularly effective in this procedure”, Doctor Tramarin points out.
Great effectiveness and absence of complications
“Embolization is effective in 98% of the cases, with no significant complications. Thus, we only recommend traditional surgical treatment to patients with high-grade (III and IV) varicocele. It depends on the results of an interventional radiology visit and a dedicated echography.
The procedure generally lasts 30-40 minutes and the patient does not have to stay in the hospital. After the operation, the patient only stays for observation for a few hours. Afterwards, they may immediately go back to their activities”, Doctor Tramarin says.