Known since 18th century, Peyronie’s Disease affects about 1-23% of men around the world and makes up for different complications. Although it is not a serious medical state, outcomes can be considerable, and in most cases treatment is obligatory. Find out what the peculiarities of Peyronie’s Disease are.
What is Peyronie’s Disease?
Initially it was described as a buildup (plaque) that changes anatomy of penis, making it bent or slightly curved. This condition is caused by scar tissues inside penis – they make it curving upward or to the side. It is mostly typical of men in their 40-60s: people in middle age and older are prone to this disease, but it is not a normal part of aging.
It is not certainly defined what can condition penis curvature. Some doctors say that plaque may form after trauma and bleeding inside shaft, and they are not always noticeable. Penis curvature developing over time may be caused by genetics, and some men may have it due to both heredity and injury. Descriptions of some medications also mention Peyronie’s disease as a side effect – but there is no documented testimony for that.
Telltale signs of the disease may develop slowly with the time being, or appear overnight in case of injury. When penis is soft, plaque cannot be seen, but when erect, it arcs or bends. It may cause pain during erection, which eases as penetration disappears. In some men, scar tissues may develop in other body parts (hands and feet, for instance). Plaques in hands that affect fingers are quite common.
Majority of men with such diagnosis can’t have sex, or it is painful of difficult for them. Due to curved structure, penetration of partner is impossible or hard-to-reach. Pain may disappear as erection passes.
If you want a doctor to diagnose Peyronie’s disease, you should tell him about possible injuries that happened before outbreak. Usually, visual examination or palpation helps to identify hardened tissues. If a man cannot make penis erected during exam, a doctor has too inject special medicine to trigger this condition.
In some instances, X-ray or ultrasound are required to identify characteristics of plaque. If visual examination does not confirm the disease, but symptoms develop quickly, biopsy is needed: a tiny piece of tissue is removed and tested in laboratory.
Sometimes mild forms of the disease may disappear on their own without bringing pain or permanent curvature. Thus, if the condition fades without help, treatment is not required. Doctors advise waiting for 1-2 years before attempting to correct it. If the disease does not cause problems in sexual life and pain, it may be ignored.
To correct the condition, medications or surgery may be used. Initially, doctors prescribe such pills as pentoxifylline and potassium para-aminobenzoate. In case they don’t work, verapamil or collagenase (Xiaflex) are injected into plaque of the penis. If that also does not help, and sexual life is impossible because of this condition, surgery stays the only way out.
Two kinds of operations are performed:
- Removal of plaque and transplantation of a tissue graft.
- Alteration of tissue on the side opposite to scar tissue to counter bending effect.
Both procedures do not guarantee 100% correction of the problem. The first method may cause erection problems, while the second makes erected penis shorter. Sometimes penile prosthesis can be implanted, but it is suitable for men who have erectile dysfunction and Peyronie’s disease simultaneously.