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Varicocele Specialist


David L Wood, M.D.

Board Certified Interventional Radiologist located in Scottsdale, AZ

Around 10-15% of American men have varicoceles, although many don’t experience any symptoms. David Wood, MD, a double board-certified radiologist at ImageMed in Scottsdale, Arizona, provides minimally invasive varicocele embolization procedures. If you have a painful varicocele or impaired fertility, call ImageMed or schedule a consultation online today to find out how Dr. Wood can help.

Varicocele Q & A

What is a varicocele?

You have several veins in your scrotum. A varicocele occurs when one of those veins becomes weak and doesn’t push blood back out of your scrotum efficiently. As a result, your blood can pool in the section of the weakened vein and swell, causing a condition similar to varicose veins that might appear on your legs. 

What are the symptoms of a varicocele?

Varicoceles usually develop slowly and don’t often cause symptoms. However, if your varicocele becomes larger or compresses other tissue in your scrotum, you could develop symptoms, such as:

  • Pain that varies from a dull ache to a stabbing jolt
  • Discomfort that increases with physical exertion
  • Pain that gets worse throughout the day
  • Pain that subsides when you lie down

A varicocele is a common cause of reduced sperm counts and other male infertility issues. 

When should I talk to a doctor about a varicocele?

If you don’t have any symptoms, you might not need any treatment, although Dr. Wood recommends having routine appointments to monitor the progression of your varicocele. However, if you have any painful symptoms in your scrotum or are having fertility problems, you should make an appointment to find out what’s causing your symptoms. Dr. Wood offers extensive imaging studies that allow him to examine and assess your vascular health throughout your body.

How is a varicocele treated?

Dr. Wood offers varicocele embolization, a minimally invasive procedure that blocks blood flow to the weak and damaged veins in your scrotum, which forces the damaged veins to drain, shrink, and collapse. Varicocele embolization is an outpatient procedure with low risks and rapid recovery rates. 

During your procedure, Dr. Wood makes a small nick in your groin and uses special X-rays to guide a vascular catheter to the damaged veins in your scrotum. When the catheter is in place, he injects tiny coils or a sclerosant into the blood vessels to close and seal them. Over time, your veins drain and wither, then your body absorbs the tissue.

You can go home to rest after your treatment and return to work within a few days. As your treated veins shrink, your symptoms should subside. Minimally invasive varicocele embolization is safer, less painful, and requires a shorter recovery time than traditional varicocele treatments. 

Call ImageMed today or make an appointment online to learn more about varicocele embolization and if it’s right for you.