Varicoceles are abnormal enlargements of the veins in the scrotum. It is commonly found in adolescent boys in puberty, and occurs mostly around the left testicle, but can also occur on both sides. Varicocele is generally harmless and doesn’t cause any pain, however; some boys may complain of heaviness in the scrotum, and when left untreated, the condition may cause stunted growth of the affected testes and infertility in adulthood.
The condition is often detected during a routine physical examination in schools or camps. Your child’s doctor may recommend an outpatient surgical procedure called varicocelectomy to repair the varicocele. During the procedure, the affected vein is tied off or blocked to redirect blood flow to neighbouring normal veins. As with all surgeries, complications may occur such as varicocele recurrence, infection, blood clot formation and injury to the scrotal tissue.