Peyronie’s Disease Diagnosis and Treatment from UH Experts
What Is Peyronie’s Disease?
Peyronie’s disease is a condition in which a substance called plaque forms under the skin of the penis. The plaque may start as inflammation that, over time, turns into scar tissue, and prevents the penis from fully straightening during erection. Instead, when erect, the penis is curved and bent at an unnatural angle. This can be painful and may make sexual intercourse difficult, painful or impossible. The location and extent of the plaque deposits will determine the direction of the curve and the severity of the disease. The condition can range from mild and temporary to permanent and disabling.
Peyronie's disease is relatively common, affecting approximately one out of 10 men. Many of these men also have associated erectile dysfunction, as well as penile shortening. Most cases of Peyronie’s disease develop slowly over time and without an identifiable cause.
Treatments for Peyronie’s Disease
There are no effective oral medications to treat Peyronie’s disease, although patients who have pain due to the plaque, may benefit from anti-inflammatory medicines. After the disease has been stabilized (the curve is no longer worsening), our doctors may recommend one or more treatment approaches, including:
- Traction therapy
- Surgery to correct the curvature
- Implantation of a prosthesis
- Collagenase injections – a relatively new treatment option that involves the injection of medicine directly into the plaque. Overall, eight injections are done over a course of six months. Although this treatment is acceptable for select cases of Peyronie's diseases, it is not a viable option for many people.
Talk to your doctor about the best treatment or combination of treatments for you.
Surgical Options for the Treatment of Peyronie’s Disease
Surgical options include the following outpatient procedures:
For this procedure, done under general or local anesthesia, an artificial erection is created from either an injection or selected medications. A small two-centimeter skin incision is made and deep stitches are placed to correct the curvature. The procedure takes 30-45 minutes, and patients go home the same day. Success rate is greater than 90 percent. This is an excellent option for the majority of patients, but in certain cases a more involved procedure may be needed.
- Excision and Grafting
With this type of surgery, the surgeon makes one or more incisions allowing the scar tissue to stretch and the penis to straighten. The surgeon might remove some of the scar tissue and cover the gaps with a piece of tissue (graft) that may come from your own body, another human donor or be made of synthetic material. This procedure takes approximately 2½ hours, and patients are discharged the same day. This is generally reserved for more complex cases with curvatures in more than one direction, associated hourglass deformity, instability of the penile shaft, etc.
- Penile Prosthesis
In patients who have Peyronie’s disease and associated moderate to severe erectile dysfunction, penile prosthesis placement can be done to cure both diseases at the same time. The placement of a penile implant corrects the underlying curvature, and is a very satisfactory long-term solution to erectile dysfunction.
The urology team at University Hospitals has the experience and expertise to diagnose and treat a wide range of urological conditions in men, including Peyronie’s disease. Call 216-844-3009 to schedule a consultation.
Recovering from Surgery for Peyronie’s Disease
Depending on the severity of your condition and the type of surgery you have, you might be able to go home the same day, or you may need to stay in the hospital overnight. Your surgeon will advise you how long to wait before returning to work – usually just a few days. You will likely be advised to wait four to eight weeks before resuming sexual activity.
Quality Outcomes Depend on Exceptional Surgeons
Optimal outcomes after surgery for Peyronie’s disease are highly dependent on the expertise and experience of the surgeon. Surgical procedures of this type should only be done by highly trained urologic surgeons with advanced training in genitourinary reconstruction techniques. The highly skilled physicians at the UH Urology Institute have the expertise to treat Peyronie’s disease and obtain the best possible outcome for each patient.
See a UH Urology Expert to Confirm a Diagnosis of Peyronie’s Disease
If you have symptoms of Peyronie’s disease, it is very important to see your healthcare provider to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other health conditions. He or she will first take a detailed medical history of your overall and sexual health, followed by a physical exam, which may include an ultrasound of the penis. An ultrasound can check the blood flow to the penis and show the presence of scar tissue and any other abnormalities. The scan may need to be done while the penis is erect, in which case the doctor will give you an injection to cause an erection.