Malleable penile prosthesis is a cost-effective treatment for refractory ischemic priapism

Timothy J. Tausch, Lee C. Zhao, Allen F. Morey, Jordan A. Siegel, Michael J. Belsante, Casey A. Seideman, James R. Flemons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Introduction: Refractory ischemic priapism (RIP) can be difficult to treat, consuming significant healthcare-related resources. Acute insertion of a malleable penile prosthesis (MPP) has been reported as an effective therapy that treats the priapism and restores sexual function. Aim: We report our 6-year, urban public hospital experience with acute insertion of MPP in patients with RIP. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the records of patients receiving MPPs for RIP from 2007 to 2013. Data analyzed included duration of erection, number of emergency room (ER) visits, hospital admissions, days of hospitalization, and postoperative course. Costs were estimated using standard Medicare reimbursement rates. Main Outcome Measure: Healthcare-related costs of treatment of RIP episodes in men presenting to our institution. Results: During the study period, 14 men underwent MPP placement acutely for refractory priapism. Thirteen presented with RIP, and one had stuttering priapism over a 14-day hospitalization. Etiologies included sickle cell anemia (4/13, 29%), medication-induced (3/14, 21%), and idiopathic (7/14, 50%). Average preoperative duration of RIP was 82 hours with considerable consumption of health-care resources (average US $83,818 estimated cost, 4 ER visits [range 1-27], 2 hospital admissions [range 1-5], 1.5 shunt procedures [range 1-3], 5 irrigation and drainage procedures using phenylephrine injection [range 2-20], and 5 hospital admission days [range 2-14]). All patients were discharged within 24 hours of MPP surgery. Conclusions: The management of RIP is associated with multiple ER visits, prolonged hospital admissions, and significant resource utilization. MPP insertion is efficacious for the immediate resolution of refractory priapism, with potential cost and resource benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)824-826
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Sexual Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015


  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Penile prosthesis
  • Priapism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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