How are varicoceles treated?

Updated: Jan 02, 2019
  • Author: Wesley M White, MD; Chief Editor: Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS  more...
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A varicocele is an anatomic abnormality that can impair sperm production and function. No effective medical treatments for varicoceles have been identified. While some investigators are evaluating the role of antioxidants for the treatment of elevated levels of reactive oxygen species, this treatment approach is still experimental.

In elderly men, impairment of Leydig cell function by varicocele can compound the decrease in testosterone production that occurs with aging, resulting in hypogonadism. Testosterone replacement therapy is an option in these patients, who are unlikely to be concerrned with fertility. Nevertheless, while the possibility of avoiding surgery may appeal to these patients, with education about their options they may conclude that a one-time low-risk microsurgery is preferable to lifelong testosterone therapy with laboratory monitoring. [22]

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