Conditions + Treatments

Varicocele in Children

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Contact the Department of Urology

  • 1-617-355-7796

A varicocele is mass of enlarged and swollen veins in the testicle that essentially feels like a bag of worms.

  • A varicocele is generally neither harmful nor painful.
  • Approximately 15 percent of boys have this condition, which almost always occurs on the left side.
  • A varicocele usually develops at puberty, but can occur earlier.

Surgery or no surgery?

Boston Children's Hospital physicians make a diagnosis based on whether your son is having any pain associated with the varicocele.

  • If your son is experiencing pain, your Children's urologist will recommend a simple, outpatient surgical procedure.

  • If there's no pain, your urologist may recommend nothing more than annual ultrasounds to ensure your son's testicle is growing normally.  However, a current study at Children's is examining which approach is better in adolescents: immediate surgery for the varicocele, or with the option of surgery after a waiting period.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944

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