What is Peyronie’s Disease
Peyronie’s disease is a condition whereby fibrous plaques (or scar tissue) develop along the shaft of the penis. The plaques can cause deformity in the penis, painful erections and difficulties with sexual intercourse. It may curve or adopt an hourglass shape when the penis is erect. The disease was named after François Gigot de la Peyronie, the French surgeon who first described it in 1743.
People with Peyronie’s disease may suffer from:
- Painful erections – as well as areas of thickening along the shaft of the penis.
- Curved, angled or distorted shaft of the penis – most obvious when the penis is erect.
The cause of Peyronie’s disease isn’t completely understood, but a number of factors appear to be involved.
It’s thought Peyronie’s disease generally results from repeated injury to the penis. For example, the penis might be damaged during sex, athletic activity or as the result of an accident. However, most often, no specific trauma to the penis is recalled.
During the healing process after injury to the penis, scar tissue forms in a disorganized manner. This can lead to a nodule you can feel or development of curvature.
In most cases the two symptoms above will be enough evidence for your doctor to diagnose Peyronie’s disease. Occasionally they may advise you to undergo a duplex ultrasound scan to show the blood circulation of the penis.
The doctor will typically want to measure the curvature or distortion of the penis whilst it is erect, which can either be assessed by photographs you have taken at home or (more accurately) by using a vacuum pump or an injection into the shaft to stimulate an erection.
Non surgical options:
There are many non-surgical treatment options available for Peyronie’s disease but they have not proven to work for all patients. These include:
- Medication – oral and/or topical medication.
- Injections – medicine injected into the plaques, may improve pain, the size of the plaques and the amount of bend in the penis.
- Stretching – or external penile traction, which involves wearing a device which stretches the penis, with the aim of improving the length of the penis and reducing the deformity.
- Vacuum devices – these stretch the shaft by creating a vacuum around the penis.