Everything You Need to Know About Penile Duplex Doppler Ultrasound
While no one likes to talk about erectile dysfunction (ED), it’s a widespread men’s health issue. More than 30 million American men of all ages suffer from it.
Fortunately, in most cases, ED is very treatable. You just need to take the first step and talk to your trusted urologist.
Vascular health issues are the root cause of 75% of ED cases, usually because of an imbalance between the arterial inflow and venous outflow of blood. A vasodilator medication, such as Viagra, is often an effective treatment when inflow vascular problems are the root cause of your ED.
But how do you know if Viagra is right for you?
Urology of Greater Atlanta offers Penile Duplex Doppler Ultrasound to evaluate the vasculature of your penis.
Doctors have been using Doppler ultrasound for decades to assess vascular health issues elsewhere in the body. The technology shows your blood as it pulses through your body. Now, we can use this technology to evaluate the vascular health of your genitals.
This noninvasive imaging study provides information about the efficiency of the blood flow in and out of your genitals.
We can identify the specific vascular health issue, which helps predict whether a vasodilator drug will work for you.
Vasodilators such as Viagra, also known as phosphodiesterase type-5 (PDE5), relax your blood vessel walls improving blood flow into your penis, enabling you to achieve and maintain an erection.
However, if your ED is due to an outflow issue or another problem, a vasodilator medication won’t be the proper treatment for you.
How does penile duplex Doppler ultrasound work?
Ultrasounds use high-frequency sound waves and their echoes to create images of the inside of your body and map your blood flow. The sound waves bounce off your blood vessels and the pitch changes in the echoes of moving blood.
If the Doppler ultrasound echoes don’t change pitch, it means there isn’t any blood flow in the area. The information provided during a penile duplex Doppler ultrasound helps us select the best treatment to restore your erectile function.
What happens during a penile duplex Doppler ultrasound?
During the Penile Duplex Doppler Ultrasound, you rest on your back. We use a fine needle to inject a vasodilator into your penile tissue. When your blood vessels relax, we begin the penile duplex Doppler ultrasound.
A radiology technician presses an ultrasound transducer wand along the side of your penis. The transducer sends the ultrasound waves into your genitals and collects their echoes.
The computer equipment creates a video feed with the echo and pitch details to show the blood flow in and out of your penis.
Penile duplex Doppler ultrasound FAQ
You shouldn’t take any vasodilator medication on the day of or before your test. It could result in a painful and prolonged erection. You also shouldn’t engage in any sexual intercourse or masturbation on the day of your penile duplex Doppler ultrasound.
Some patients report that the injection causes a pinching sensation that feels like an insect bite.
You can return to most of your regular activities after your procedure, although you should abstain from sexual intercourse and masturbation.
Yes. The procedure is noninvasive and doesn't involve any radiation. The injection may cause some mild discomfort, bruising, or lightheadedness.