Let’s admit it, men often find it difficult to ask for help when we need it, delaying the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of many medical conditions. While men are less likely than women to develop venous disease in their legs, those men who do often put off seeing a physician about their concerns.
The testicle and scrotum are a part of the male anatomy that gets our immediate attention. Testicular varicose veins are noticeable and can cause pain in this sensitive area. If there is pain, a delay in seeing a specialist can lead to potentially serious or long-term complications.
Today you can learn more about testicular varicose veins from your team of varicose vein specialists in Central Georgia.
What are Testicular Varicose Veins
Testicular varicose veins are also called varicoceles. Not in the testicle itself, they are an abnormal enlargement of veins that drain the testicle. Patients describe a swelling in the scrotum that feels like a ‘cluster of grapes or a bag of worms.’
These veins carry the venous blood from the testicle up along the spermatic cord back towards the heart. When you stand or sit these veins exposed to the effects of gravity and one way check valves prevent venous congestion in the veins near the testicle. A defect in the check valves or external pressure on the veins can cause these veins to dilate when you are standing or sitting.
Symptoms of Testicular Varicose Veins
Though most often these veins are asymptomatic, some patients experience discomfort or pain in the genital region that can vary in intensity. If you notice a palpable swelling in the testicle or sharp pains when you stand or exert yourself, or if the pain and discomfort doesn’t subside or increases throughout the day, this could be a serious medical problem.
IMPORTANT: If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should seek emergency medical attention immediately as they can be signs of a serious medical condition.
- extreme pain in and around the genitals
- signs of infection, such as redness, skin that is hot to the touch, and/or a fever
- blood in your urine or seminal fluid
We advise that you call 911 or have a loved one take you to the nearest emergency room for evaluation and treatment.
Can Varicose Veins in Testicles Cause Infertility?
Testicular varicose veins can result in low sperm count and affect sperm quality, causing infertility in some patients. Testicular shrinkage has also been seen. For younger patients, varicose veins in testicles can impede testicular development. It’s important to address testicular varicose veins to avoid side effects that could arise over a prolonged period.
Treatment Options for Testicular Varicose Veins
Testicular varicose veins don’t always require treatment, but we recommend evaluation by a specialist if you notice symptoms of varicose veins including pain or visible unhealthy veins. Traditionally, urology specialists evaluate and treat varicoceles. In select cases, new minimally invasive treatment modalities are now offered by vascular specialists.
Testicular varicose vein treatment traditionally involved a procedure to ligate the source vein in the groin. Ligation of a vein required the surgical tying of the vein through a small incision. In some cases, a vein could also be removed.
You will be happy to know that newer treatments are now offered to close off these veins non-surgically. These minimally invasive processes are performed on an outpatient basis in an interventional vascular access suite. Sealing off the affected vein redirects blood flow to healthy veins. After treatment, patients may see improved fertility and sperm quality in addition to enhanced quality of life and reduced pain.
See the Vein Specialists for Varicose Veins in Central Georgia
Varicose veins can occur just about anywhere on the body. While we most often see patients with varicose veins in the legs, we do evaluate patients with varicose veins elsewhere on the body and help coordinate your care. If you’re looking for varicose vein specialists to help you with your testicular varicose veins, Dr. Harper and our team of experienced vein specialists can help. Contact us today for a consultation in one of our two convenient locations in Downtown Macon or Warner Robins, just outside of Robins Air Force Base.