Balloon Embolization for the Treatment of Primary Varicocele

  • Klemens H. Barth
Part of the Clinical Practice in Urology book series (PRACTICE UROLOG)


Varicocele represents a dilatation of the pampiniform plexus and the cremasteric veins associated with retrograde blood flow through the internal spermatic vein (ISV) [8, 16]. The mechanism is analogous to lower extremity varicosity with insufficiency of the venous valves. Insufficiency of the ISV can be documented on retrograde venography in the reverse Trendelenburg or upright position [2, 13, 16]. The great majority of varicoceles are left-sided; however, as bilateral ISV venography indicates, left-sided varicocele is not infrequently associated with right ISV insufficiency despite absence of a palpable right varicocele [2, 7]. Varicocele is mostly idiopathic and referred to as primary varicocele, whereas secondary varicocele develops on the basis of obstruction, usually by tumor, and is not considered in this context.


Inguinal Canal Spermatic Vein Testicular Vein Internal Spermatic Vein Pampiniform Plexus 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

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  • Klemens H. Barth

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