Priapism is the occurrence of any persistent painful erection that lasts for more than four hours and is unrelated to sexual stimulation.
Priapism is a condition where the patient suffers from persistent painful erections that last for more than four hours.
Most normal erections due to sexual stimulation never last for four to six hours. Priapism is not associated with sexual excitement and the erection does not subside after ejaculation.
Priapism can occur in all age groups, including newborns. Most cases of priapism are clustered between the age groups of five to ten years, and twenty to fifty years.
Blood disorders like sickle cell anemia and leukemia, as well as medications used to treat impotence are common causes of priapism. Based on the blood flow in the penis, priapism can be categorized as: Low-flow or ischemicpriapism
, where little or no blood moves out of the penis. High-flow priapism
, which is often the result of trauma to the penis. In this case, there is a large amount of blood flowing into the penis.
Priapism constitutes a true urologic emergency. Careful history, good physical examination and a specialized treatment plan are essential in the successful management of priapism. Treatment options for priapism include decongestant medicines, aspiration, intracavernous injections and surgical shunts. If it is not treated immediately, priapism can lead to erectile dysfunction.