Interventional Radiology for Varicocele Treatment

  • Walid M. MubarakEmail author
  • Jehan AlRayahi
  • Ashley James Robinson


Varicoceles are abnormally dilated pampiniform plexus veins. They may present with pain or can be discovered during investigations of infertility. The relationship between varicoceles and infertility remains controversial. Varicoceles may be treated surgically or by embolization.

Venous embolization of the internal spermatic vein is a safe and effective minimally invasive method to occlude the varicocele. Embolization can be enhanced by the additional use of a sclerosant, such as sodium tetradecyl sulfate (STS) foam. Multiple embolic and sclerotic agents can be used when treated under image guidance, and each agent has its own advantages and disadvantages. Surgical and interventional outcomes are similar in unilateral left-sided varicoceles, with embolization usually having a shorter hospital stay and a lower chance of hydrocele formation. Surgery may be advantageous in bilateral varicoceles.

Collaboration between the urologist and the interventional radiologist as well as using standard classifications and nomenclature facilitates patient care and treatment.


Varicocele Embolization Embolotherapy Interventional Radiology Infertility Adult Interventional Radiology Pediatric Interventional Radiology and Sclerotherapy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walid M. Mubarak
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jehan AlRayahi
    • 2
  • Ashley James Robinson
    • 3
  1. 1.Diagnostic Imaging – Interventional Radiology, Sidra MedicineDohaQatar
  2. 2.Diagnostic Imaging, Sidra MedicineDohaQatar
  3. 3.Diagnostic Imaging, Sidra Medicine/Weill-Cornell Medical CollegeDohaQatar

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