This section is from the book "The London Medical Dictionary", by Bartholomew Parr. Also available from Amazon: London Medical Dictionary.
(From a varix, and a tumour ). It is also called varicocele, circocele, ramex va-rico&us, and hernia varicosa.
This is an irregular, elastic tumour of the spermatic arteries and veins. Any large tumour in the abdomen, or external force pressing the veins, or a large tumour of the scrotum stretching the vessels or impeding the return of the blood, may occasion the veins of the scrotum, or the spermatic veins, to be dilated with blood; in which case, they are also here and there diversified with large and unequal knots, and the testicles hang lower than in their natural state. This disorder, however, generally depends on a relaxed state of the veins themselves.
Sometimes young men of a salacious turn, abounding with seminal fluids, are subject to this disorder; but when neither pain nor other troublesome symptoms attend, no regard need to be paid to the case, except it be to apply to matrimony for the cure. As this disorder is symptomatic, to remove the circumstances on which it depends will be its relief. It sometimes depends on the pressure of an hernial truss upon the spermatic process; and then an alteration in the bandage will probably succeed. If tumours of a scirrhous kind are the cause, and they are so situated as to admit of extirpation, they should be removed. However, when the veins have been long distended, so that their coats are become very weak, incisions may be made longitudinally into them, after which, dressing as in a common wound, a cicatrix will prevent the return of the complaint. Before incisions are made in the veins, it will be proper to try a suspensory bandage, the cold bath, the application of a solution of alum, or other astringents. Before opening the knot in these veins, it will be proper to employ evacu-ants, lying in an horizontal posture, by which the course of the returning blood is facilitated; the scrotum and its contents should be supported by a proper bandage, and strengthening embrocations may be applied to the part affected. See Heister's Surgery. Bell's System of Surgery, vol. i. p. 493. Pott's Works, 4to. White's Surgery, 334.
For the distinction between this complaint and bubonocele, vide in Verbo.