What is varicocele?

Updated: Jan 02, 2019
  • Author: Wesley M White, MD; Chief Editor: Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS  more...
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Answer

A varicocele is a dilatation of the pampiniform venous plexus and the internal spermatic vein. Varicocele is a well-recognized cause of decreased testicular function and occurs in approximately 15-20% of all males and in 40% of infertile males. Understanding the significance of this anatomic abnormality in the infertile patient requires a brief review of the history, background, and current concepts of functional anatomy, as well as the methods and results of surgical repair, when repair is indicated. [1]


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