A varicocele is an abnormal enlargement, folding or varicosity of the veins that carry the venous blood from the testicles. This enlargement may begin at a young age and progress due to gravity. A varicocele is the most common and treatable cause of male infertility. It may be asymptomatic. It can lead to swelling in the scrotum, pain (in the groins) and disorders of sperm count and activity over time. Varicoceles typically occur in 15-20% of men after puberty, and in 40-50% of men with varicoceles, infertility complaints are encountered. Although it is not exactly known how a varicocele causes infertility, there are some theories on the topic. Venous blood, which accumulates in the venous blood vessels with varicosity, causes heat development and pressure increase in the testes. Reduction of oxygen supply and accumulation of various metabolites by the kidney and adrenal glands can affect sperm production. As a result, sperm levels and activity decrease.
The condition is diagnosed by physical examination involving palpation and confirmed by Doppler ultrasonography.
The treatment of varicocele involves a surgical operation called varicocelectomy with a duration of typically 30 to 60 minutes. However, not every patient with varicocele can undergo surgery. Therefore, varicocelectomy should be performed on the right patient at the right time and with the right technique by specialists in this field. There is no relapse after a successful surgery.
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