There are both surgical and nonsurgical options that are available to assist those who have Peyronie's disease.
An abnormal bend in the penis that occurs during an erection may be a symptom of a treatable medical condition known as Peyronie’s disease. It is estimated that this disorder occurs in 1 in 9 adult males.
- This condition rarely resolves on its own
- It is necessary to see a physician who specializes in these types of issues for correction
Following a traumatic event or repeated micro-trauma to the penis, scar tissue, often referred to as plaque, can build up in an area of the penis. This leads to hardening of a small portion of the fibrous coating of the sex organ. The hardened portion of the penis is no longer elastic, so it is unable to expand during an erection, causing an abnormal bend in the penile body.
While a man might remember a specific instance when an injury occurred, the exact cause is unknown for most individuals. There may be a genetic link for men who develop this condition, as those who have another connective tissue disorder called Dupuytren’s contracture may be at a greater risk for developing Peyronie’s disease.
Symptoms for this condition may come on as rapidly as overnight, or they may take as long as several months to slowly develop. The main symptom is an abnormal bending in the penis during an erection. This bend may get worse over time. Some men experience a very significant bend in the penis, making it difficult, if not impossible, to engage in intercourse.
Pain is another common symptom that occurs with Peyronie’s disease, especially in the early stages of the condition. In general, pain will subside over time.
There may be a narrowing of the penis in an area or gradually increasing toward the end of the organ. A shortening of the length of the penis is common as well.
Due to the abnormal curvature of the penis during an erection, a man may notice additional complications or problems because of this condition. These include:
- Difficulty with intercourse
- Inability to achieve or maintain an erection
- Stress and loss of confidence over the appearance of the penis
Multiple treatment options are available for the management of Peyronie’s disease. These include oral therapy, penile stretching device, injection therapy, and surgery.
Injection therapy may include the use of Verapamil, Interferon alpha-2b and Collagenase Clostridium Histolyticum (CCH). CCH (Xiaflex) is the only FDA-approved treatment for this condition and may lead to significant improvements in penile curvature by breaking down the scar tissue over time.
Surgical options may involve correcting the curvature (tunical plication), removing scar tissue (partial plaque excision and grafting), or placement of a penile implant with additional straightening procedures in men with concomitant erectile dysfunction.