Semi-rigid Penile Prosthesis for Priapism

November 10, 2015

Penile prostheses are implanted in cases of treatment resistant erectile dysfunction. But are they also a treatment for an erection that simply will not go away?

Greek mythological god, Priapus, is associated with fertility and a permanently engorged and ready penis. In his name, a medical condition of permanent erection has been termed priapism. Among its causes are sickle cell anemia, scorpion bites, and certain medications such as Thorazine and Desyrel. Marijuana and cocaine have also been associated with priapism, which is simply characterized as an erection lasting four hours or more, often with pain. Priapism is a medical emergency that can sometimes effectively be treated with medications and relatively minor surgical procedures. 

Earlier this year, a group of doctors in Germany reported a strange case of priapism treated ultimately with a penile prosthesis. A middle aged man reported an erection that had lasted for more than a day, associated with pain. The exact cause of this durable erection was not clear but may have been alcohol consumption. He was initially treated with conventional means, including adrenergic medications and penile corporal shunt procedures. When these were not effective, reasoning that he was bound for permanent erectile dysfunction in any event, which is a known consequence of priapism, the doctors implanted a malleable penile prosthesis. In their reasoning, the prosthesis effectively treated both the priapism and the erectile dysfunction.

The penile implant surgery packages found on this portal are designed for erectile dysfunction, not for priapism, which demands  immediate medical attention.

If you have an erection that will not go away, you must seek medical attention on an emergency basis.


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