All about Peyronie’s disease

doctorWhat causes Peyronie's disease?

Most experts are of the consensus that Peyronie's disease usually develops following a trauma or injury that causes bleeding inside the penis. However, while this trauma may explain acute cases of Peyronie's disease, it does not explain why most cases develop slowly and progressively (chronic cases), or what causes the disease after no apparent traumatic event or accident.

What happens in Peyronie's disease?

Peyronie's disease is characterized by a plaque, or hard lump, that forms on the erection tissue of the penis. Fortunately, this plaque is benign (or non-cancerous) and often begins as an inflammation that may develop into a fibrous tissue. In most of the cases, when the disease heals within a year or so, the plaque does not progress beyond an initial inflammatory phase. However, when the disease lasts for years, the plaque often becomes a tough, fibrous tissue, and calcium deposits may form.

What are the signs & symptoms of Peyronie's disease?

While each individual may experience symptoms of Peyronie's disease differently, the most common symptoms of Peyronie's disease may include:

  • Plaque: Which (if present on the top of the shaft) causes the penis to bend upward. Similarly, this plaque (if present on the underside of the penis) causes the penis to bend downward.
  • Shortening of penis: In cases where the plaque develops on both top and bottom, indentation and shortening of the penis may occur
  • Pain, bending, and emotional distress can prohibit sexual intercourse
  • Painful erections may occur.

It should also be noted that the symptoms of Peyronie's disease may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Therefore, it is recommended to always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

How is Peyronie's disease diagnosed?

A diagnosis of Peyronie's disease is usually made with the help of a complete medical history and physical examination. For example, men visiting the doctor often seek medical attention for erections and difficulty with intercourse. This diagnosis is further confirmed by:

  1. Ultrasound examination of the penis: A diagnostic technique which uses high frequency sound waves to create an image of the internal organs.
  2. Color Doppler examination: A type of ultrasound that uses sound waves to measure the flow of blood through a blood vessel; waveforms of the blood flow are shown on the ultrasound screen (to evaluate erectile function, anatomy, and blood flow).

How is Peyronie's disease treated?

In general, the goal of treatment is to keep the patient with Peyronie's disease sexually active. Providing education about the disease and its course is often included in the treatment plan. In some cases, treatment is not necessary, as Peyronie's disease often occurs in a mild form that heals without treatment in 6 to 15 months. Treatment may include:

Surgery: Surgery is often the last resort and is associated with high risk of complications, costs and side effects.

Vitamin E: Some clinical trials have reported improvements with oral vitamin E prescribed by a physician.

Drugs: In some cases, injections of various chemical agents into the plaques have been utilized in a small number of patients. However this mode of treatment does bear a strong potential for unwanted side effects.

Radiation therapy: With this treatment approach, radiation is aimed at the plaque to reduce pain, but does not affect the plaque itself; unwanted side effects or worsening of the disease may occur.

Use of extenders: For those who believe in the potency and effectiveness of alternative or natural treatment options, traction-based penis extenders (such as those of SizeGenetics) offer an attractive, safe and economical option with multiple benefits.


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