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BJU Int. 2002 Dec;90(9):893-7.

The management of low-flow priapism with the immediate insertion of a penile prosthesis.

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Institute of Urology, London, UK.



To evaluate the outcome of patients undergoing the immediate insertion of a penile prosthesis as a treatment for acute low-flow priapism.


Eight patients presenting with low-flow priapism with a mean duration of 91 h (range 32-192) were prospectively evaluated. All had failed conservative management with the instillation of alpha-adrenergic agents, and four had already undergone shunt procedures elsewhere. Immediate management consisted of the insertion of a malleable prosthesis in six patients and an inflatable prosthesis in two. One of the malleable prostheses was subsequently changed to an inflatable device.


There were no early complications, with all patients being satisfied with the end result, and seven having sexual intercourse. One patient developed a penile deformity after surgery, cause by fibrosis around one inflatable cylinder. All patients have maintained their penile length.


Prolonged low-flow priapism results in a variable degree of cavernosal fibrosis and a subsequent loss of penile length. The delayed insertion of a penile prosthesis can be difficult, with high complication rates. The immediate insertion of a penile prosthesis in patients with prolonged low-flow priapism is simple and maintains penile length. This should always be offered to the patient at initial presentation, as the complication rate is low and the subsequent outcome excellent.

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