Peyronie’s disease is a condition that can happen in men whereby scar tissue, also called plaque, has developed inside the penis. This scar tissue pulls on the skin and causes curved, painful erections, and it may also cause the penis to lose width and length. If left untreated, the condition can lead to an inability to achieve a full erection and can negatively impact fertility.
In Peyronie’s disease, the segments of scar tissue can often be felt through the skin. Having a curved erection isn’t necessarily a cause of concern, and many men with the condition can still have normal sexual intercourse. However, it can cause pain, and it may therefore contribute to erectile dysfunction (ED).
The good news is that Peyronie’s disease is treatable if necessary. Let’s talk about what causes this scar tissue to form, why you shouldn’t ignore it, and where you can go for an evaluation and treatment options.
What Causes Peyronie’s Disease?
The cause of Peyronie’s disease is not fully understood, but a number of factors are believed to contribute to the condition. These include:
· Repeated minor injury to the penis
· A connective-tissue disorder
· Certain health conditions, such as Dupuytren’s contracture
· Hereditary factors
· Age (the issue is more common in men over age 40)
· Certain types of prostate surgery
Symptoms of Peyronie’s Disease
The most common signs and symptoms of Peyronie’s disease include the following:
· Significant curvature or indentation in the penis – which may be an upward, downward, or sideways bend
· Erectile dysfunction
· Scar tissue that is manually felt under the skin in the penis (flat lumps or a band of hard tissue)
· Penile pain, with or without an erection
· Shortening or narrowing of the penis
Progression of the Condition
Over time, the symptoms of Peyronie’s disease can become worse; the curvature can become more pronounced, and the penis may become shorter. The disease is often split into two stages, which include:
The acute phase, which is when the plaque develops in the penis and when symptoms generally worsen. This phase usually lasts for 5-7 months.
The chronic phase, which is when the plaque stops developing and the penis ceases to bend any further. Pain experienced during an erection may improve.
Treatment for Peyronie’s Disease
Early treatment is often recommended soon after the condition develops, as this is when the disease is more treatable – and symptoms can be prevented from getting worse. There are a variety of treatments for Peyronie’s disease, and the treatment your doctor recommends will depend on the severity of the curvature and the presence of erectile dysfunction.
Some men respond well to nonsurgical treatments, which include:
· Oral medication and intralesional injection therapy to help improve the curvature and to lessen the bothersome symptoms of Peyronie’s disease. These medications are designed to break up the scar tissue and to disrupt the production of collagen, which can cause the penile curvature.
· Traction devices which involve stretching the penis with a self-applied mechanical device for a period of time to improve penile length and shape. This type of therapy is usually recommended in the early phase of Peyronie’s disease.
Surgical treatments may be recommended for more severe and disabling penile deformities that make it difficult or painful to have sex. There are different surgeries available, which include:
· Scar removal and allograft, which involve making a cut in the scar tissue to relieve tension and to remove some of the scar tissue.
· Surgical plication and grafting, which involves suturing the unaffected side to straighten out the penis.
· Penile prosthesis, which involves surgically placing a penile implant into the penile tissue. This type of surgery is usually considered for patients with both Peyronie’s disease and erectile dysfunction, and there are different types of prostheses available.
Peyronie’s Disease Treatment in Phoenix, AZ
Here at Ironwood Urology, we treat men’s health conditions of all kinds, including Peyronie’s disease, erectile dysfunction, low testosterone (low-T), male infertility, prostate health, and much more. We have locations in Phoenix and Gilbert for your convenience.
To find out more about our urology services or to schedule an appointment, call Ironwood Urology today at (480) 961-2323 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to serving you.