Enlargement of the veins of the spermatic cord. The condition occurs most often in adolescent boys and affects the left side more often than the right. The affected scrotum feels like a bundle of worms. Varicocele may be accompanied by a dull ache along the cord and a dragging sensation in the groin. The condition usually requires no treatment but may cause infertility, in which case ligation of the internal spermatic vein may be helpful. A varicocele is quite common, in fact it occurs in about ten percent of men. It is usually painless, but can occasionally cause a bit of aching, not unlike mild epididymitis. It is almost always on the left testicle.

It does, in some men, adversely affect sperm count, and may need to be removed in a surgery called varicocelectomy. If the varicocele did not occur early enough to cause atrophy in the testicle, there is usually no permanent damage, and the sperm count will return to normal.

Var"i*co*cele (?), n. [Varix a dilated vein + Gr. tumor: cf. F. varicocele.] Med.

A varicose enlargement of the veins of the spermatic cord; also, a like enlargement of the veins of the scrotum.


© Webster 1913.

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