Weill Cornell Medicine Urology
Weill Cornell Medicine Urology
Priapism - Risks & Causes

Priapism - Risks & Causes

Ischemic priapism (venocclusive, low-flow priapism) results from failure of blood to drain from the erectile bodies due to prolonged blockage of the draining veins. Ischemic priapism may result from prolonged relaxation of the erectile smooth muscle (generally due to drugs or toxins) or from sludging of blood (due to blood disorders) with subsequent prevention of venous drainage.

The potential causes of ischemic priapism include:

  1. Penile injection therapy (used by men for erectile dysfunction)
  2. Medications (including drugs for depression, psychiatric conditions
  3. Certain blood pressure medications, cocaine)
  4. Toxins (spider venom, rabies)
  5. Intravenous nutrition (called TPN)
  6. Blood disorders (including sickle cell disease, thallasemia, leukemia, and multiple myeloma)

Erectogenic medications are the most common cause of ischemic priapism in the adult United States population. Sickle cell disease is the commonest cause of priapism in the pediatric and adolescent populations. 40% of all men with Sickle cell disease experience at least one episode of ischemic priapism in their lifetime. There are a group of men with ischemic priapism who have no obvious causes and by definition have idiopathic priapism. This latter condition is often a recurrent problem. Stuttering priapism refers to males who have recurrent episodes of ischemic priapism.

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You can find the office contact information for each physician specializing in Priapism by visiting their profile listed on the bottom of this webpage. 

If you'd like to learn more about our providers that specialize in Priapism, please review the Physicians & Faculty profiles listed at the bottom of this page.

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Physicians & Faculty

Dr. Marc Goldstein, M.D., F.A.C.S. | Weill Cornell Medicine

Marc Goldstein

M.D., F.A.C.S.

Aetna-Weill Cornell POS, Federal Medicare, NY State Medicaid, Rockefeller University-CoreSource
Brady Urologic Health Center
Dr. James A. Kashanian, M.D.

James A. Kashanian


AETNA [Medicare], AETNA-HMO, Aetna-NYP-EPO/POS, AETNA-PPO, Aetna-Weill Cornell POS, Blue Priority Network, CIGNA, EBCBS HMO, EBCBS Mediblue, EBCBS Pathway X, EBCBS Pathway X Enhanced, EBCBS PPO/EPO, Emblem Select Care, Empire BCBS HealthPlus (CHP), GHI, Health Insurance Plan of NY (HIP), Medicare, Oxford Freedom, Oxford Health Plans [Liberty], Oxford Health Plans [Medicare], Oxford Health Plans [Metro/Core/Charter], Rockefeller University-CoreSource, UHC Compass, UHC Medicare, United Empire Plan, United Healthcare Commercial
The LeFrak Center for Robotic Surgery
Dr. Peter N. Schlegel, MD, FACS | Cornell Urology

Peter N. Schlegel

M.D., F.A.C.S.

Aetna-Weill Cornell POS, NY State Medicaid, Rockefeller University-CoreSource
Klinefelter Syndrome Care Center

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