Peyronie's Disease

What is Peyronie’s disease?

Peyronie’s disease is a condition that affects the penis. It occurs when fibrous scar tissue (plaque) forms and causes erections to be curved and painful. The plaque builds up inside the tunica albuginea, which is a thick, elastic membrane in the penis. Having a curved erection isn’t always indicative of peyronie’s disease, however. Men with peyronie’s disease usually experience significant curvature and pain during erections. Peyronie’s disease may also cause some erectile dysfunction. The plaque that builds up in the penis during Peyronie’s disease is noncancerous and the disease is not contagious. 
 
Experiencing extremely painful erections can be very frustrating and upsetting for men. It can cause them to suffer from frequent stress and anxiety. They may be afraid to get an erection and the condition may prevent them from having sex. It also may make them self-conscious about the size and shape of their penis. In some cases, the disease will go away on its own, but more often than not it stays the same or worsens.
 
 
Risk factors
 
  • Age: Peyronie’s disease is more common in men ages 55 and older
  • Heredity: Your risk for having the disease is increased if your father or brother also has the disease
  • Connective tissue disorders: Men who have a connective tissue disorder are at an increased risk for having Peyronie’s disease. 
  • Vigorous sexual or non-sexual activity that can cause micro-injuries to the penis
 
 
Diagnosis 
When diagnosing peyronie’s disease your doctor will likely look at your medical and family history and perform a physical exam. The physical exam will involve the doctor palpating your penis while non-erect to look for the presence of scar tissue. The doctor will also likely measure your penis and monitor for any shortening over the course of your condition. Men suffering from Peyronie’s disease are often referred to a urologist for care. 
 
Other tests that may be done to diagnose Peyronie’s disease include:
 
  • Imaging tests such as an ultrasound and X-ray of the penis. These imaging tests can be used to help look for scar tissue and any other abnormalities. An ultrasound can also look at blood flow to the penis. Your doctor may need to do these tests while the penis is erect, so you may need to receive an injectable medication to induce an erection. 
 
 
Treatment
In some cases, your doctor may start off by just monitoring your condition for any progression without any treatment or interventions as long as you have good erectile function and the condition isn’t getting in the way of your sex life. Some cases of Peyronie’s disease may even resolve on their own without treatment. 
 
When treatments are indicated, they include:
 
  • Oral and/or injectable medications that aim to decrease penile curvature, pain, inflammation, and the amount of plaque one has in the penis
  • Radiation therapy
  • Shockwave therapy
  • Penile implants
  • Suturing (plicating) the unaffected side
  • Incision or excision and grafting
  • High-intensity focused ultrasound 
 
 
 
# PEYRONIE'S DISEASE BY THE NUMBERS #
  • It is estimated that approximately 1-23% of men between the ages of 40 and 70 are affected by Peyronie’s disease
  • Although the disease is less common in younger men, it has been reported as occurring in men in their 30s
 
about Peyronie's disease
 
 

Sources:
  • "Peyronie’s disease." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 07 Aug. 2017. Web. 02 Dec. 2017.
  • “Penile Curvature (Peyronie’s Disease).” U.S Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health. National institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Jul. 2014. Web. 02 Dec. 2017.
  • “What is Peyronie’s Disease?” Urology Care Foundation. American Urological Association, n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2017. 
  • “Peyronie’s Disease.” Advanced Urological Care, P.C. n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2017.  

 

Depending on a patient’s medical and family history, a doctor can specifically determine which tests a man should have and how often to have them. The following is an overview of common exams men should seriously consider.
 
common wellness exams men should have

 

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