Varicocele -- Child

Varicocele is painless swelling of blood vessels in the scrotum. The scrotum is the pouch that contains the testes in males. VaricoceleCopyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • Causes

    Most blood normally flows out of the scrotum through a a main vein. A faulty valve in this vein causes blood to back up into the scrotum and lead to varicocele.

  • Definition

    Varicocele is painless swelling of blood vessels in the scrotum. The scrotum is the pouch that contains the testes in males.

    Varicocele
    testicle varices
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • Diagnosis

    The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. The doctor can make the diagnosis based on the physical exam.


    An
    ultrasound
    may be done if complications are expected.

  • Prevention

    There is no way to prevent varicoceles.

  • Risk Factors

    Varicoceles typically develop in males 15-25 years old.

  • Symptoms

    You will be able to see or feel a varicocele. It is an enlarged or twisted vein in the scrotum. It may become larger when standing or straining. You may also see shrinkage of the testicles.

  • Treatment

    Treatment is not required in all cases.

    Treatment may be done to block off the faulty vein and allow blood to flow out through other veins.

    • Open surgery—The vein is surgically cut and tied off.
    • Catheter ablation—Heat is applied through a catheter to destroy the vein.
    • Catheter embolization—A substance is placed in the vein to block it.

    Follow the doctor's instructions if your child is diagnosed with this condition.