Thirty years ago, many young men often came to urologist Laurence Levine, M.D., with severe pain in their testicles. They told him they had already seen five or six doctors without any relief. Doctors gave them courses of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories—all to no avail.

"They said, 'Hey, Doc, just cut the thing off,'" said Levine, a professor of urology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. "I was like, wow, this is pretty devastating for a young man to say, 'Cut my nut off.' There's got to be a better way."

Levine came across a case report about a surgery called microdenervation of the spermatic cord, the structure that contains nerves, blood vessels and the vas deferens, which carries sperm out of the testicle. In the late 1980s, Levine started performing this procedure, which remains the surgical treatment of choice for chronic scrotal content pain.

However, before microdenervation is performed, a spermatic cord block is done to determine if the pain is coming from within the scrotum. A spermatic cord block is a quick and minimally invasive