Pathophysiology: None of the theories has been proved unquestionably, although an elevated heat effect caused by impaired circulation appears to be the most reproducible defect. Supporting this hypothesis is the fact that a varicocele created in an experimental animal led to poor sperm function with elevated intratesticular temperature. Although unproved, a varicocele may represent a progressive lesion that can have detrimental effects on testicular function.
Disease statistics: Varicoceles (dilations of the pampiniform venous plexus) are found in 10 to 15 % of the male population and they occur predominantly on the left side.
Treatment: Medical Therapy: No effective medical treatments for varicoceles have been identified. While some investigators are evaluating the role of antioxidants for the treatment of elevated levels of reactive oxygen species, this treatment approach is still experimental. Surgical Therapy: The primary form of treatment for varicoceles is surgery. The Primary goals of varicocele repair should include occlusion of the offending varicosity with high success, preservation of arterial flow to the testis, and the minimization of patient discomfort and morbidity.
Research: Embolization treatment in men with clinically visible left varicocele, abnormal sperm parameters and documented infertility is associated with a significant improvement in semen parameters including sperm head morphology.