Varicocele and Male Infertility

Varicoceles occur in about 15 percent of all men between the ages of 15 and 35 years. A varicocele is a varicose (dilated, or swollen) vein in the scrotum caused by defective or absent valves in the vessels of the scrotom. They can cause pain and swelling of the testicles or may cause no symptoms at all. Because varicoceles may affect a man’s fertility and ability to produce sperm, a physician may discover a varicocele during a fertility workup.

We at Vascular Anomalies Clinic of Jerusalem (Israel) offer comprehensive treatment options for varicocele and male infertility.

We provide the most effective and least invasive techniques to treat these conditions in most patients providing excellent results with minimal recovery times.

We are committed to delivering the highest quality of individualized treatment and compassion. We make every effort to ensure comfort and to control pain. Our patients receive frequent follow up phone calls after discharge to answer questions and provide guidance when needed.

Once a varicocele is found, tests using painless ultrasound imaging may be performed to determine the size and position of the vessels involved. After evaluation, your physician will discuss with you the best treatment option for your individual condition. At one time surgery was the only option, however, a minimally invasive technique, called varicocele embolization, can be performed painlessly in an outpatient setting. The procedure uses a stainless steel coil to block blood flow to the dilated vessels in the varicocele. The procedure is performed by placing a catheter in the affected vessel and deploying the coil in the targeted area. The actual procedure is performed in an outpatient setting under moderate sedation. Your stay with us is about 3 hours and you can expect to be back to work in 48 hours. Most patients are completely recovered within 3 days and experience only mild discomfort. Varicocele embolization is considered equally as effective as surgery in improving chances of natural conception.

Varicocele Embolization

A varicocele is an enlarged vein in a man’s scrotum that may cause infertility, pain, or swelling. Varicocele embolization uses imaging guidance and a catheter to place a tiny coil and/or embolic fluid in a blood vessel to divert blood flow away from a varicocele. It’s less invasive than conventional surgery, improves fertility outcomes similar to conventional surgery, and can relieve pain and swelling.

Using image-guidance, a catheter (a long, thin, hollow plastic tube) is inserted through the skin into the jugular vein, a large blood vessel in the neck, and maneuvered to the treatment site.

Small amounts of x-ray dye (contrast) are injected so that the interventional radiologist can clearly see the veins on the x-ray in order to pinpoint where the problem is and where to embolize, or block, the vein.


Tiny coils made of stainless steel or platinum or other materials, such as liquids, which directly close a vessel, are then inserted in the vein to block it. By blocking the diseased draining vein, backflow into the testicle is stopped and the blood is diverted to healthy veins to exit the testicle through normal pathways. Swelling and pressure within the testicle will be reduced if the blood flow is successfully diverted.

At the end of the procedure, the catheter will be removed and pressure will be applied to the neck area. The opening in the skin is then covered with a small bandage. No sutures are needed.

This procedure is usually completed within one hour and requires local anesthesia only. Patients return to normal activities almost immediately and are instructed only to not lift heavy objects for 3 days after the procedure.

More Information

We would be happy to discuss varicocele and male infertility at our vascular anomalies clinic in Jerusalem (Israel) and take all the time you need, to answer your questions/concerns.

The procedure is covered by some of the kuppot and insurance companies. We typically appeal to the kuppot/insurance companies on an individual basis, and will make every effort to assist in obtaining a hitchayvut for the procedure.