Varicose veins - scrotum
A varicocele is a widening of the veins along the cord that holds up a man's testicles.
A varicocele forms when valves inside the veins along the spermatic cord prevent blood from flowing properly. This causes the blood to back up, leading to swelling and widening of the veins. (This is essentially the same process that leads to varicose veins, which are common in the legs.)
The sudden appearance of a varicocele in an older man may be caused by a kidney tumor, which can block blood flow to a vein. This is more common on the left side than the right.
Khera M, Lipshultz LI. Evolving approach to the varicocele. Urol Clin North Am. 2008;35:183-189.
Schneck FX, Bellinger MF. Abnormalities of the testes and scrotum and their surgical management. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 127.
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