“We knew we were in good hands and our son is proof of that.”
I celebrated my first Father’s Day this year – a milestone that would not have been possible if not for the varicocele embolization procedure. When my wife and I had trouble getting pregnant, I was referred to an urologist. A few tests and an ultrasound determined that I had varicoceles, which had lowered my sperm count.
I was referred to an interventional radiologist, Steve Smith, MD, who performed my varicocele embolization. I had the procedure twice to fully repair my [left and right] varicoceles and within six months, my wife and I conceived our son.
This whole experience has been such a blessing. We are so grateful to our doctor and his entire staff. We knew we were in good hands and our son is proof of that.
“To hear that it was a painless procedure with only one day of recovery sounded amazing compared to the pain and long recovery I had gone through with the surgery.”
I had two separate and painful surgeries to repair a varicocele 17 years ago. My wife and I thought that this problem would be gone, but when the condition reappeared two years ago, my urologist recommended an alternative: a minimally invasive procedure called varicocele embolization.
When the embolization procedure was explained to me, I’ll admit, at first, I felt skeptical. To hear that it was a painless procedure with only one day of recovery sounded amazing compared to the pain and long recovery I had gone through with the surgery. It all turned out to be as promised. It was painless. I recovered for a few hours, felt great the next day and immediately returned to my normal activities.
Not only was it painless, but an ultrasound shortly thereafter showed that my problem was fixed and within two months, my wife and I were expecting.
Our second son, Finnian, is living proof of how successful this procedure can be. If not for the varicocele embolization, I feel we would never have gotten pregnant so quickly.
“After having both varicocele surgery and embolization, I would tell any man with a varicocele to consider embolization.”
Ten years ago, my wife and I were having difficulty getting pregnant. After being examined and tested by my doctor, I was told that I had a low sperm count, caused by a varicocele. To increase our chances of having a baby, I chose to undergo varicocele surgery, which at that time was the only treatment available. The surgery caused me a great deal of discomfort, and recovery took longer than I had hoped. The good news was that my wife did end up getting pregnant, and gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.
Recently, my wife and I decided that we’d like another child. We soon learned that my low sperm count had returned, again due a varicocele. But this time my doctor referred me to an interventional radiologist instead of a surgeon, and he told me about a non-surgical treatment for the problem. I had an ultrasound to confirm the varicocele diagnosis, and the interventional radiologist isolated the varicose vein and scheduled me for varicocele embolization within the week.
Having the embolization was very different from surgery. I had a local anesthetic instead of general, and was awake during the entire procedure. Being awake allowed me to talk to the doctor, who explained what was happening the whole time. After the embolization, I felt very little discomfort and was actually able to walk to my car. The best news of all is that two months later, my wife was pregnant with our second child.
“If I had known sooner that the varicocele was the reason for us not getting pregnant, I would have had the procedure right away.”
Michael D. and his wife wanted a large family. Two years after marrying, the couple gave birth to their first child, a healthy baby boy. After their son was born, the couple decided to wait a few years before having more children. But when they began trying two years later, they had a difficult time. “We had no success after six months, then twelve months,” says Michael. “At that point we began to get concerned because we wanted a big family and time was ticking away.”
The couple decided to consult an infertility specialist, who recommended an aggressive course of artificial insemination. “But we tried 10 or 11 times, with no success,” says Michael. So the physician suggested an ultrasound, which confirmed that Michael had varicoceles. After the diagnosis, the physician told the couple about Steve Smith, MD, who explained how varicocele embolization could increase their chance of becoming pregnant.
Michael says he was amazed at how easy the procedure was. “It was pretty painless, and I was up and about the day afterward, although I did experience some minor discomfort on the third day.” Michael was back to work in a few days, and back to his normal activities in about a week.
Approximately six months later after the procedure, Michael’s wife became pregnant with a lovely baby girl. A short time after having their first daughter, the couple became pregnant with another girl, and hopes to have a fourth child in the near future. Says Michael, “I can’t see why a man wouldn’t have an embolization sooner rather than later. If I had known sooner that the varicocele was the reason for us not getting pregnant, I would have had the procedure right away.”