Priapism is a condition where an erection lasts for many hours and is not caused due to sexual stimulation. It occurs when blood enters into the penis (as it does during a normal erection), but gets trapped within the penis. This condition requires immediate treatment to prevent permanent damage to the penile tissues. Priapism can be of 2 types:
- Ischemic priapism: due to a block in a vein in your penis and should be treated within 4 hours
- Non-ischemic priapism: due to an injury to your penis, which causes damage to your blood vessels and in turn, leads to excessive flow of blood into your penis
There are different types of surgeries used to treat priapism based on the type and cause of your condition.
- Shunt surgery: A shunt (small tube) is inserted into the penis which creates a new route for the blood to return back into the body's normal circulation. The procedure is used in case of ischemic priapism.
- Embolization: Your doctor inserts a specially designed sphere, glue or coil to block the torn blood vessels of non-ischemic priapism and stop the flow of blood to your penis.
- Surgical ligation: The ruptured blood vessels of non-ischemic priapism are tied to restore normal blood circulation to your penis.