Peyronie’s Disease is a painful condition in which a man’s penis develops a curve—typically 45 degrees or greater. According to the American Urological Association, up to 9 percent of men between the ages of 40 and 70 have some degree of Peyronie’s disease, although the number could be ever higher because men are too embarrassed to report it. It is much less common in younger men. (American Urological Association)
Peyronie’s disease is due to the accumulation of abnormal scar tissue or plaques inside the penis. Some experts suggest the condition develops when repeated mild trauma to the penis causes minor damage that accumulates over time.
The trauma could be from sexual activity, sports injuries, or an accident. Damage causes scar tissue to develop, and the scars (lesions) decrease the ability of the penis to stretch and the organ leans toward the side of the scar.
Peyronie’s disease can also develop in a small percentage of men who undergo radical prostatectomy.
Other risk factors for Peyronie’s disease include diabetes, age, tobacco use, and presence of a connective tissue disease such as Dupuytren’s contracture, which is common in men with Peyronie’s disease.
Treatment typically is reserved for men who are experiencing pain, are unable to engage in sexual activities because of the curvature, and the curvature is worsening. In about 13 percent of men the condition disappears without treatment. Treatment options include Oral drugs which have not been well studied. Some of them include tamoxifen, colchicines, paraminobenozoate, pentoxifylline, and the natural supplement vitamin E.
Injections therapy although not well studied, can help reduce the curvature and pain. Multiple injections into the lesions are necessary over several months. The drugs used for injections include verapamil, collagenase, and interferon, all of which can disrupt the protein (collagen) that is key in the formation of the scar tissue.
VED Therapy is also prescribed to help stretch and strengthen the penis.
Surgery is also an option if the curvature is severe or prevents sexual activity. Before surgery is performed, however, the curvature should be stable (not gotten any worse) for at least three months and other treatment options should have been explored.
Symptoms and Severity
Peyronie’s disease can cause a significant amount of pain and some penile shortening, as well as prevent men from having sex because of the angle of the penis and/or the pain.
Men with Peyronie’s disease often experience much anxiety and distress related to the disorder.
Diagnosis of Peyronie’s disease involves taking a complete medical history, including any circumstances surrounding the onset of symptoms, and a physical examination. The hardened tissue caused by the disorder can be felt upon examination (palpable). Sometimes, it is necessary to perform the examination with the penis erect. This is achieved by injecting a vasoactive substance that affects the blood vessels in the penis, causing erection… Calcified plaque can be identified using x-ray or ultrasound.