Percutaneous embolization of varicocele: technique, indications, relative contraindications, and complications

Asian J Androl. 2016 Mar-Apr;18(2):234-8. doi: 10.4103/1008-682X.169985.


There are several options for the treatment of varicocele, including surgical repair either by open or microsurgical approach, laparoscopy, or through percutaneous embolization of the internal spermatic vein. The ultimate goal of varicocele treatment relies on the occlusion of the dilated veins that drain the testis. Percutaneous embolization offers a rapid recovery and can be successfully accomplished in approximately 90% of attempts. However, the technique demands interventional radiologic expertise and has potential serious complications, including vascular perforation, coil migration, and thrombosis of pampiniform plexus. This review discusses the common indications, relative contraindications, technical details, and risks associated with percutaneous embolization of varicocele.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Contraindications
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / adverse effects
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Recurrence
  • Spermatic Cord / blood supply
  • Spermatic Cord / surgery
  • Varicocele / surgery
  • Varicocele / therapy*