World J Mens Health.  2019 Jan;37(1):4-11. 10.5534/wjmh.170010.

Varicocele and Testicular Pain: A Review

  • 1Department of Urology, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Varicocele is the dilatation of the scrotal portion of pampiniform plexus and the internal spermatic venous system. About 15% of men suffer from scrotal varicocele and 2% to 10% of them complain of pain. The probable mechanisms for pain include compression of the surrounding neural fibers by the dilated venous complex, elevated testicular temperature, increased venous pressure, hypoxia, oxidative stress, hormonal imbalances, and the reflux of toxic metabolites of adrenal or renal origin. Testicular pain associated with varicoceles is typically described as a dull, aching, or throbbing pain in the testicle, scrotum, or groin; rarely, it can be acute, sharp, or stabbing. The management of testicular pain associated with varicocele starts with a conservative, non-surgical approach and a period of observation. Varicocelectomy in carefully selected candidates with clinically palpable varicocele resolves nearly 80% of all cases of testicular pain. Microsurgical techniques for varicocelectomy have gained popularity with minimal complication rates and favorable outcomes. The grade of varicocele, the nature and duration of pain, body mass index, prior conservative management, and the type of surgical method used, are predictors for the success of varicocelectomy.


Pain; Review literature as topic; Surgical procedures, operative; Varicocele
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