Peyronie's Disease is a treatable condition that affects sexual function.
Peyronie's Disease, which is referred to as curvature of the penis, is an abnormal bend in the penis that occurs during erection.
With Peyronie's Disease, fibrous scar tissue develops under the skin of the penis. The cause of this fibrous tissue is not known. However, fracture of the penis (injury during intercourse) can lead to this condition. Patients have a higher risk of this condition after surgery or radiation treatment for prostate cancer.
Peyronie's Disease is uncommon. It typically affects men ages 40 - 60 and older.
You may notice an abnormal hardening of the tissue below the skin, in one area along the shaft of the penis. During erection, there may be:
- A bend in the penis, which usually begins at the area where you feel the scar tissue or hardening
- Narrowing of the penis
- Problems with penetration or pain during intercourse
- Shortening of the penis
Your Ohio State urologist can diagnose curvature of the penis with a physical examination. The hard plaques can be felt with or without an erection. During examination, you may receive a shot of medicine to cause an erection. You can also provide your doctor with a picture of the erect penis for evaluation.
An ultrasound may show the scar tissue in the penis.
Some patients may not need treatment. The symptoms may improve over time or may not get worse. If symptoms progress, treatments may include:
- Corticosteroid injections into the fibrous band of tissue
- Potaba (a medicine taken by mouth)
- Radiation therapy
- Lithotripsy (high-energy sound waves to break up the fibrous tissue)
- Verapamil injection (a medicine used to treat high blood pressure)
- Vitamin E
If your condition progresses to the point where intercourse is not possible, surgery may be done to correct the problem.
Peyronie's Disease Defined
Peyronie’s disease can occur at any age, but most commonly happens in the mid 50s. Lawrence Jenkins, MD, a urologist at Ohio State who specializes in male sexual and reproductive health, explains that irregular scar formation within the penis causes curvature or some other deformity.
The Importance of Early Treatment for Peyronie's Disease
If you suspect you may have Peyronie’s, it is important to seek treatment before significant issues occur, such as shortening or instability of the penis, which can be difficult to reverse if too advanced. Lawrence Jenkins, MD, a urologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, explains the evaluation process used to diagnose and develop an effective treatment plan.
Treatment Options for Peyronie's Disease
Peyronie’s disease, which occurs when scar tissue causes the penis to curve, can be treated several ways. Lawrence Jenkins, MD, a urologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, says this ranges from conservative treatment—simple observation—to penile traction therapy, injections and several types of surgery depending on the disease progression.