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Penile doppler (ultrasound) can be used to evaluate many conditions affecting the penis, including erectile dysfunction (ED), plaques (such as those caused by Peyronie’s disease), fibrosis, lumps, and even cancer.
Men with erection problems often have a Doppler ultrasound, which can show the way blood flows in and out of organs. In a Doppler ultrasound, the sound waves bounce off circulating red blood cells. A change in pitch signals the movement of blood.
The test begins with an injection of medicine, which causes an erection by widening arteries and increasing blood flow. From there, a doctor moves a small device called a transducer over against the skin of the penis. The transducer sends data to a computer so that the doctor can tell how fast blood is flowing in and out.
A Doppler ultrasound is noninvasive and the test itself shouldn’t hurt. Some men have pain or bruising at the injection site. Men might also feel dizzy for a few minutes. If the induced erection lasts longer than the test, the doctor might give another injection so the penis will become flaccid again.
Men are usually advised not to take any erectile dysfunction medications (such as Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis) for a day or two before the test. They might also be instructed not to have sex or masturbate the day of the ultrasound
You might experience mild discomfort during the penile injection. About 10% of patients may experience an ache from the actual injection medication. You might also develop a small bruise in the skin at the site of the injection.
The erection should go down within 4 hours, however, occasionally some patients may experience a very prolonged erection, lasting more than 4 hours.