International Urology and Nephrology

, Volume 48, Issue 9, pp 1395–1399 | Cite as

Varicocele percutaneous embolization outcomes in a pediatric group: 7-year retrospective study

  • Sonaz MalekzadehEmail author
  • Rodrigo A. Fraga-Silva
  • Pierre-Henri Morère
  • Alexandra Sorega
  • Stephan Produit
  • Nikolaos Stergiopulos
  • Christophe Constantin
Urology - Original Paper



Percutaneous embolization and surgical repair are the current treatment options for varicocele, but determining method superiority remains controversial. In this retrospective study, we evaluate the technical success, complication and recurrence rates following percutaneous embolization in a pediatric group, which were compared to reported outcomes for surgical repairs.


Thirty children treated for percutaneous varicocele embolization were recruited. The side and grade of varicocele, symptoms, testicular asymmetry, mean recurrence time, total radiation dose and complications were evaluated. Recurrence and follow-up complications due to embolization were also reviewed.


The venography showed retrograde filling of the internal spermatic vein with the identification of aberrantly fed vessels in 23 % of patients. None of the patients suffered from procedure complications except one who had venous injury which was treated with a sclerosing agent. The technical success rate was 93 % (28 patients) with a recurrence rate of 13 % (4 patients). Interestingly, the mean radiation dose used was 862.5 µGy m2, 3 times lower than abdominal CT.


Considering the intravascular nature of embolization, which aims to avoid testicular artery and spermatic cord damage (difficult to avoid with the surgical method), and consequently a lower complication rate, along with the same success rate and recurrence rate, our study supports that embolization is a superior method to surgical interventions.


Varicocele Percutaneous embolization Venography Varicocelectomy Pampiniform venous plexus 


Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical standard

This study was approved by the local ethical committee of the Sion Hospital, Sion, Switzerland, and is in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration.

Conflict of interest

The authors certify that they have no conflict of interest and are not affiliated or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sonaz Malekzadeh
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  • Rodrigo A. Fraga-Silva
    • 2
  • Pierre-Henri Morère
    • 1
  • Alexandra Sorega
    • 1
  • Stephan Produit
    • 3
  • Nikolaos Stergiopulos
    • 2
  • Christophe Constantin
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of RadiologySion HospitalSionSwitzerland
  2. 2.Institute of BioengineeringÉcole Polytechnique Fédérale de LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  3. 3.Department of Pediatric SurgerySion HospitalSionSwitzerland
  4. 4.Department of RadiologyGeneva HospitalGenevaSwitzerland
  5. 5.Service d’imagerie diagnostique et interventionnelleCentre Hospitalier du Centre du ValaisSionSwitzerland

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