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A swollen scrotum may be caused by an enlarged vein called a varicocele. When the vein carrying blood away from the testicle fails to move blood back to the heart, the blood can pool around the testes in the scrotum. This can cause pain, swelling, and tenderness.

Varicocele Diagnosis & Treatment

During a physical exam, we’ll check you for pain and swelling in your scrotum. We may also need an ultrasound of your scrotum.

For mild cases, we might recommend you wear tight underwear or a jockstrap. This will provide support and lessen painful symptoms.

For more severe cases, we have other treatment options. All of these methods use the same strategy: They cut off the swollen vein, so the blood leaving the testes goes into a healthier vein and no longer pools in the scrotum. There are different ways to close off the enlarged testicular vein.

Open Surgery

The surgeon makes a small cut below your groin. Using a microscope to see inside, we clamp or tie off the swollen testicular vein. This redirects blood flow to a healthy vein.

The recovery time usually lasts 7 to 10 days.

Laparoscopic Surgery

The surgeon makes a very small cut in your abdomen and inserts a scope to see inside your body. After finding the swollen veins, the surgeon seals them off with tiny clips or heat.

Varicocele Embolization

Interventional radiologists perform this procedure with fluoroscopy and X-ray images. This option requires a small cut at the base of the neck or in the groin.

We first make a tiny cut to allow us to pass a small plastic tube through the skin into your femoral vein (leg) or jugular vein (neck). The radiologist then closes the swollen vein with small coils.

This procedure uses local anesthesia combined with intravenous sedatives and pain medications. Most patients can return to normal activities within 24 hours.

Talk with your provider about the best varicocele treatment for you.