Priapism (persistent erection)


Pelvis | Urology | Priapism (persistent erection) (Disease)


Description

Priapism is a potentially painful medical condition, in which the erect penis or clitoris does not return to its flaccid state, despite the absence of both physical and psychological stimulation, within four hours.

Causes and Risk factors

There are two types of priapism: low-flow and high-flow; 80% to 90% of clinically presented priapisms are low flow disorders. Low-flow involves the blood not adequately returning to the body from the organ. High-flow involves a short-circuit of the vascular system partway along the organ. The causative mechanisms are poorly understood but involve complex neurological and vascular factors.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Ischemic priapism — the result of blood not being able to exit the penis — is an emergency situation that requires immediate treatment. This treatment usually begins with a combination of draining blood from the penis and using medications.

Nonischemic priapism often goes away with no treatment. Because there isnt a risk of damage to the penis, your doctor may suggest a watch-and-wait approach. Putting ice and pressure on the perineum — the region between the base of the penis and the anus — may help end the erection.

Surgery may be necessary in some cases to insert material that temporarily blocks blood flow to the penis. The body eventually absorbs the material. Surgery may also be necessary to repair arteries or tissue damage resulting from an injury. ...