Scott I Zeitlin, MD
Male Infertility Specialist & Men's Sexual Health Physician located in Century City, CA, Santa Monica, CA, & Tarzana, CA
A varicocele, or enlarged veins in the scrotum, can be a common cause of male infertility and also cause discomfort. Though not all varicoceles require treatment, if they interfere with your ability to conceive or cause other troubling symptoms, consider surgery from top-rated urologic surgeon Scott Zeitlin, MD, at Los Angeles Infertility and Prostatitis. Dr. Zeitlin repairs varicoceles using precise, advanced microsurgery techniques. To schedule an appointment, call one of his three Los Angeles area offices in Century City or Santa Monica and Tarzana, California.
What are varicoceles?
Varicoceles are enlarged veins in your scrotum — the sac that holds your testicles. They’re similar to varicose veins, which appear in your legs. However, while varicose veins tend to affect adults, varicoceles usually appear during puberty.
Varicoceles are often on the left side of your scrotum and occasionally affect the right side. That’s because the anatomy is different on each side of your scrotum.
Most varicoceles don’t cause symptoms or require treatment. However, they can cause a low sperm count and other issues with sperm production, resulting in infertility. They can also interfere with the development of the testicle.
In some cases, varicoceles cause discomfort, including sharp pain and a dull ache. Be sure to schedule an appointment with Dr. Zeitlin if you notice pain, swelling, or any other troubling symptoms in your scrotum. The cause may be more serious than a varicocele.
Though varicoceles vary in size, the size doesn’t necessarily indicate the likelihood of symptoms. You may have a large varicocele that doesn’t cause symptoms or a small varicocele that does.
Is a varicocele the cause of my fertility problems?
Not all men with varicoceles have difficulty conceiving a child. However, they’re fairly common among men with fertility issues. They’re more likely to cause fertility problems if you’re trying to father a child after your first.
If you and your partner are having trouble conceiving, a varicocele may be part of the reason. To determine the cause of your infertility, Dr. Zeitlin performs a thorough examination, which includes looking for varicoceles.
Dr. Zeitlin may recommend surgery to repair your varicocele. This can improve sperm count and production and may resolve your fertility issues.
How are varicoceles treated?
The procedure to repair a varicocele is called a varicocelectomy, and Dr. Zeitlin performs the procedure using microsurgery. This precise technique allows him to target the varicoceles without affecting the surrounding arteries, ducts, and other structures. During the procedure, he ligates, or closes off, the varicocele.
The procedure takes about 90 minutes. You will receive general anesthesia. You go home the same day.
A varicocelectomy improves blood flow in your testicles. New sperm takes three months to develop, so it may take several months after the procedure until there are significant improvements in the count or quality of your sperm.
To get schedule an examination of a varicocele, or learn more about treatment, call to schedule an appointment at one of Dr. Zeitlin’s offices.