Penile Doppler Ultrasound

Overview

Penile Doppler Ultrasound is a procedure that is used to predict the response of your erectile tissue to vasodilator medications.  A vasodilator medication acts as a blood vessel dilator.  It also allows the urologist to determine and document if you have an inflow or outflow type of erectile dysfunction.  Erectile dysfunction has many etiologies.  Some respond initially to vasodilator medications and then see a decrement in the effectiveness over the years. Some diseases such as arteriosclerosis (associated with heart disease), high blood pressure, and diabetes exert their effects on blood vessels throughout the body, the penis included.

If your disease causes an inflow erectile dysfunction, vasodilator drugs may not be able to adequately dilate the arteries feeding the erectile bodies.  It would be wasteful and an inconvenience to you to try all these therapies if this study could predict their failure up front.

If you have a severe outflow erectile dysfunction, then any therapy that causes an increased inflow during erection may not be adequate for maintaining erections hard enough and/or long enough for satisfactory intercourse.  Depending on the severity of the problem, you may require a penile prosthesis.

What happens during the procedure?

A medical assistant will inject your penis with a vasodilator that will assist in giving you some fullness.  The medical assistant will scan your penis with transducers that are connected to a computer.  The computer measures the inflow and outflow of blood to your penis.  After this initial testing you will be retested.  A report that graphs and indicates your scores will be reviewed by your urologist. 

Patients with any significant out flow problem are better treated with prosthetics.