What is Peyronie’s disease?

27 Nov 2019

Peyronie’s disease is a penile disease characterized by plaque formation due to scar tissue in the penis. It causes curvatures in the penis, preventing a straight and hard erection.

Some men with Peyronie’s disease can continue their sexual life. But for many, it turns into a painful erectile dysfunction.

Many treatment methods have been described depending on the symptoms.

What causes Peyronie’s disease?

Today, scientists do not know exactly what causes Peyronie’s disease. Many researchers believe that these plaques form due to bleeding into the penis after a trauma (hitting, bending). These types of injuries may not always be visible to the naked eye.

In other cases, it may occur genetically and over time. In some men, trauma and genetics occur together.

Although it has not been fully proven, it is stated in the descriptions of some medications that they may cause Peyronie’s disease as a side effect.

Who gets Peyronie’s disease?

Although it is generally seen in middle-aged men, it can also be seen in young and elderly people.

Its frequency increases with aging in men. But it is not a natural part of aging.

What are the symptoms of Peyronie’s disease?

Symptoms can appear slowly or start suddenly. There is no problem when the penis is soft. But in advanced cases, the hardened plaque disrupts the flexibility, causing curvatures and pain in the penis during erection.

In most cases, a slight decrease in pain is observed over time, while the curvature gradually becomes worse.

Some men with Peyronie’s disease may experience plaque formation in other organs, such as the penis. It is usually seen on the hands and feet. Peyronie’s disease is more common in patients with Dupuytren’s contracture and scar tissue affecting their fingers on their hands than in the rest of the population.

How do doctors diagnose Peyronie’s disease?

Tell your doctor accurately your entire story before the symptoms started.

Your urologist will detect hard tissue formed on the penis during the physical examination. Although it is not a commonly used method, in advanced cases, an examination can be performed after an injection that hardens the penis.

For further follow-up of the patient, penile doppler ultrasound may be requested before treatment.

Rarely, in some patients, if the urologist cannot fully diagnose Peyronie’s disease during the physical examination, or if the disease develops very quickly out of its character, a biopsy may be taken from the penis. The biopsy is taken as a very small piece from the affected area and sent to pathology.

Can Peyronie’s disease be treated?

Yes, but it is very important that you, together with your urologist, choose the treatment method most appropriate to the degree of your disease.

What treatments are available for Peyronie’s disease?

There are four main treatment methods for Peyronie’s disease.

Drug treatment: It is a treatment modality that can take years. Many drugs have been tried and recently the most commonly used drugs have been banned by the World Urology Association.

Surgical treatment: There are 3 types. While the first two cause erection problems, penile prosthesis (happiness stick) is relatively less complicated.

ESWT treatment + Injection combination: Treatment modality with shock waves is currently the newest treatment protocol in the world. It has no side effects. Daily life can be continued with short sessions. Success rates increase significantly with collagenase enzyme support. After vascularization (revascularization), which lasts up to 6 months, plaques shrink, pain decreases, and curvatures improve.

Do vitamins help?

There are many studies on the combination of vitamin E and colchicine. But there is no evidence that they were successful.

Other options

In very rare cases, radiation therapy has been applied to plaques. This method, which is mostly used for pain, has not been proven. Nowadays, it is not routinely applied.

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