Varicoceles

A varicocele is a collection of dilated and tortuous veins surrounding the spermatic cord. It is most often asymptomatic and left-sided. Varicoceles arise in adolescence and are estimated to occur in 10% to 15% of the male population (Schneck and Bellinger, 2007). Evidence that varicoceles cause infertility is limited, but they are found in 12% of men presenting with infertility and in mature adolescents with varicoceles, 26% had abnormal semen analyses (Brenner and Ojo, 2004; Biyani et al., 2009). The "bag of worms" appearance on scrotal examination is the hallmark of this diagnosis. Inferior vena cava obstruction should be considered if the varicocele is right sided, of acute onset, or occurs in a prepubertal boy.

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