Testicular Pain

A common cause of pain in the testicle and scrotum is a varicocele, which is a varicose vein of the testicle and scrotum. Symptomatic pain tends to occur when a man has been standing or sitting for a long period of time and pressure builds up on the affected veins. Typically, painful varicoceles are prominent in size. Varicocele can also cause testicular atrophy (shrinkage) or fertility problems. Veins contain one-way valves that work to allow blood to flow from the testicles and scrotum back to the heart. When these valves fail, the blood pools and enlarges the veins around the testicle in the scrotum to cause a varicocele.

The highest occurrence is in men ages 15-35. Approximately ten percent of all men have varicoceles – among infertile couples, the incidence of varicoceles increases to 30 percent. Interventional radiologists can treat varicocele using embolization. This minimally invasive treatment is as effective as traditional surgery with less risk, less pain and less recovery time. Patients considering surgical treatment should also get a second opinion from an interventional radiologist to ensure they know all of their treatment options. An average of one to two days is required for complete recovery for embolization, compared to two to three weeks for surgery. Nearly one quarter of surgical ligation patients required overnight hospital stay, compared to none for embolization. Patients can be referred by a primary physician or call AMI at 402-484-6677 and ask to speak with the Interventional Radiology department.