Diagnosis of Ischemic Priapism
Diagnosis involves a medical history and examination to determine any underlying medical causes and the duration of the condition. During the medical examination, your doctor will assess the severity of pain, the rigidity of the penis and lack of involvement of certain parts of the penis. This also will include checking the rectum and the abdomen for evidence of unusual growths or abnormalities that may indicate the presence of cancer. In addition, a sample of your blood will be analyzed to exclude sickle cell disease, thalasaemia major and leukemia.
Diagnosis of Non-ischemic Priapism
Diagnosis of non-ischemic priapism also involves a medical history and examination to determine any underlying medical causes and duration of the condition. In addition, your doctor will conduct a Doppler examination, which measures the blood flow of your penis.
When in doubt, a small needle may be placed in the penis to draw some blood, which is then sent to a lab for analysis. This will help determine which type of priapism the patient is experiencing.
UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.