Benefits vs. Risks of a Varicocele Embolization
Varicocele Embolization Benefits
- No surgical incision is needed—only a small nick in the skin that does not have to be stitched closed.
- The recovery time is shorter with embolization than with surgery.
- There is a 90% success rate with embolization, which are the same results as those achieved with more invasive surgical techniques.
Varicocele Embolization Risks
- Any procedure where the skin is penetrated carries a risk of infection. The chance of infection requiring antibiotic treatment appears to be less than one in 1,000.
- There is a slight risk of an allergic reaction if contrast material is injected.
- Any procedure that involves placement of a catheter inside a blood vessel carries certain risks. These risks include damage to the blood vessel, bruising or bleeding at the puncture site, and infection.
- There is always a chance that an embolic agent can lodge in the wrong place and deprive normal tissue of its oxygen supply.
- There is always a slight chance of cancer from exposure to radiation. However, the benefit of this treatment outweighs the risk.
- Other possible complications include lower back pain and phlebitis.