Peyronie’s Disease

Peyronie’s Disease was first described by Francois de la Payronie, surgeon to France’s Louis XIV in 1743. It is a condition characterized by deformity of the penis with or without erection. This deformity can be curvature, indentation or loss of length and is most commonly present in men over 50.

Causes

The causes aren’t immediately known or well understood. In most cases, the disease results from repeated trauma to the penis, most commonly occurring during sexual intercourse. Over time, this trauma can cause inflammation and plaque formation. This formation functions as a scar, an inelastic thickness that causes the penis to curve. Erectile dysfunction is also found in 58% – 90% of men with Peyronie’s Disease.

Effects

Peyronie’s Disease can cause significant mental and physical impact, including

  • Psychological distress – The disease can contribute to depression and anxiety disorders, which require the diagnosis and treatment of a medical professional.
  • Penile deformity – This can interfere with the ability to engage in sexual activity and penetration.
  • Erectile Dysfunction – If this occurs in conjunction with Peyronie’s Disease, there are treatments that could address both problems.

Treatments

The goal of treatment is to regain or maintain sexual function by straightening the penis. Many things can determine the treatment plan, including the degree of the curvature, the severity of penile shortening, any narrowing and whether erectile dysfunction is also an issue.

Non-Surgical options include

  • Oral medications
  • Topical electrical current therapy (iontophoresis)
  • Injections of Verapamil into the plaque
  • Mechanical stretching with vacuum devices or external penile extenders

Surgery may be necessary to reconstruct the penis, with or without grafting. Or, straightening methods may be used with the placement of a penile prothesis.

Surgical methods include

  • Shortening the long (unaffected) side to create equal length on both sides. The resultant length is rarely more than 3/4” shorter than the normal penis. This procedure is used for less severe cases.
  • Allograft, in which graft material is inserted in place of the surgically removed scar. This material has been used in millions of implants without incidents of infection and provides a safe, natural support. The resulting length is approximately equal to the longer pre-procedure side. This treatment is used for severe deformity without erectile dysfunction.
  • Penile prosthesis is used for men with both Peyronie’s Disease and erectile dysfunction. An implant is placed followed by straightening. We use penile implant inflatable prosthetics, which are completely self-contained and invisible to the naked eye. A penile implant has a small pump located in the scrotum that, when squeezed, sends fluid through two penile cylinders, providing an erection.

Risks of Surgery

With any surgery, there are risks. If surgery is the best treatment for you, it is important to understand the risks and discuss them with your doctor.

  • Change in penile sensation, which usually returns before two months post-surgery
  • Curvature recurs – this is rare if the deformity was stable for six to nine months before surgery
  • Erectile dysfunction, which is rare in men with strong pre-operative erections
  • Penile shortening of about 3/4 inches, if at all
  • Bleeding and infections, which are also rare

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will my penis be perfectly straight?
A: The goal of treatment isn’t to make the penis perfectly straight, but to make it functional; this is accomplished in 98% of cases.

Q: Will I regain my penis’ former length?
A: Penis length can be affected by the loss of elasticity that happens with Peyronie’s Disease. The type of treatment will determine your length.

Q: Since having Peyronie’s Disease, my erections have gotten weaker. Will they improve after surgery?
A: The surgery won’t change the hardness of your erections. We can treat erectile dysfunction as a separate condition.

Q: How can I make my erections harder and longer-lasting?
A: If you have erectile dysfunction, there are many treatments available to you. Visit our erectile dysfunction page.