Peyronie’s disease is a condition that affects the penis. It is caused by the formation of fibrous scar tissue within the penis, which can result in curvature, pain, and difficulties with sexual function. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about Peyronie’s disease, including its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.
What Causes Peyronie’s Disease?
The exact cause of Peyronie’s disease is unknown. However, it is believed by researchers that the condition may be the result of a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some of the risk factors that have been associated with Peyronie’s disease include:
Age: The prevalence of Peyronie’s disease tends to increase in men aged 40 and above.
Trauma: Injuries to the penis, such as those caused by vigorous sexual activity or accidents, can lead to Peyronie’s disease.
Connective tissue disorders: Some men with Peyronie’s disease also have connective tissue disorders, such as Dupuytren’s contracture, which affects the hands.
Autoimmune disorders: There is some evidence to suggest that Peyronie’s disease may be associated with autoimmune disorders, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
What are the Symptoms of Peyronie’s Disease?
The symptoms of Peyronie’s disease include a curvature or bend in the penis, narrowing of the penis (also known as “hour-glassing”), erectile difficulties or dysfunction, and painful erections or pain during sexual intercourse.
How is Peyronie’s Disease Diagnosed?
If you are experiencing symptoms of Peyronie’s disease, your doctor will perform a physical exam and may recommend imaging tests, such as an ultrasound, to assess the extent of the curvature and the presence of scar tissue. Your doctor may also ask you about your medical history and any medications you are taking.
What are the Treatment Options for Peyronie’s Disease?
Approximately 15% of Peyronie’s disease cases may resolve on their own without any treatment. However, it’s important to note that more than 40% of cases may actually worsen over time. In cases where treatment is required, options may include oral medications, injections, or surgery.
Your doctor may prescribe medications to help reduce the pain and inflammation associated with Peyronie’s disease. These may include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroids.
Injections are a commonly used medical treatment for Peyronie’s disease.
Verapamil injections, a calcium channel inhibitor typically used for blood pressure control, can also be used to stop plaque formation in men with Peyronie’s disease. The injection of verapamil directly into the affected area can help soften the tissue and reduce pain, particularly in the early stages of the disease. Verapamil injections are often administered in conjunction with pain medication and penile modeling therapy. Initially, most patients receive a series of six Verapamil injections every two weeks. Further treatment will be based on your provider’s assessment of your progress.
Xiaflex injections are the only FDA-approved medical therapy for Peyronie’s disease. The enzyme in the drug reduces plaque, which helps improve penile curvature. Xiaflex treatment cycles consist of two injection procedures. The second injection is administered one to three days after the first. In addition, patients are advised to perform penile modeling therapy at home for two hours daily for about six weeks after each injection cycle. Patients can undergo up to four Xiaflex treatment cycles.
Surgery has demonstrated the highest efficacy in treating Peyronie’s disease, particularly in correcting penile curvature. However, it is typically only recommended for patients who have not responded to non-surgical treatments and have had curvature for more than 12 months.
The two most commonly employed surgical procedures are cutting of the plaque, followed by placement of a vein or synthetic material patch, or suturing of tissue from the side of the penis opposite the plaque, which corrects the curvature of the penis.
Some men may choose to undergo penile prosthesis implantation, which can increase the stiffness of the penis. In certain cases, a penile implant alone may be sufficient to straighten the penis.
Can Peyronie’s Disease be Prevented?
There is no known way to prevent Peyronie’s disease. However, you can reduce your risk by avoiding activities that may cause injury to the penis, such as rough sexual activity or sports that involve impact to the groin area.
Peyronie’s disease is a condition that can have a significant impact on a man’s sexual health and quality of life. If you are experiencing symptoms of Peyronie’s disease, it is important to talk to your doctor about your treatment options. With the right treatment, many men are able to improve their symptoms and regain their sexual function.
Desert Sky Urology
If you are suffering from Peyronie’s disease and seeking treatment, consider contacting Desert Sky Urology. We can help diagnose and develop a personalized treatment plan for your specific needs. Don’t let Peyronie’s disease continue to impact your quality of life – schedule a consultation with Desert Sky Urology today.