BONUS 299: Diagnosing & Treating Varicoceles

February 26, 2021

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Today’s bonus episode guest is Dr. Sam Ohlander, assistant professor of urology and co-head of the andrology division at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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Dr. Ohlander and Heather discuss the diagnosis and treatment of varicoceles:

INTRODUCTION

  • I’d like to start by hearing a little bit about you. Tell us about your academic background and training.
  • Why did you choose a career in urology?
  • Take us through your career. (Note: All the previous positions you’ve held and exactly what you do now.)

VARICOCELES

  • We’ve talked about this on the show before, including BONUS 297 with Dr. Allison Rodgers, but take us through your approach to educating patients about the importance of evaluating male fertility and how you interpret a semen analysis.
  • What is a varicocele?
  • How do I know if I have one? What are the symptoms?
  • Are they common?
  • How does the doctor know if I have one?
  • How do you get a varicocele?
  • How does it impact fertility?
  • How do you know if it’s impacting my fertility?
  • How do you fix it?
  • What will fixing it do? What are the outcomes (sperm counts, ART success, testosterone)?
  • Why should I fix it?
  • Why would I not want to fix it?
  • Will it affect me in other ways?
  • Will it impact my sex drive? Will it impact my erections?
  • Will it cause testicular cancer? Will it cause prostate cancer?
  • Are there different ways to treat it? (surgical approaches, IR embolization)
  • Can you describe the surgery?
  • What is the recovery like?
  • What are the side effects/complications of the surgery?
  • Can they come back?
  • How long does it take to improve my fertility?
  • Has there been any recent research in this area? What questions still need answers?
  • Do you have any success stories you can share?
  • Is there anything else you’d like to add?

WRAPPING UP

  • What words of hope would you offer to infertility warriors who have yet to be evaluated or have been diagnosed with a varicocele?

References:

Thanks for listening!

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