What is Peyronie's Disease (PD)?
In this condition scar tissue (“plaques”) form along the sheath that contains the erectile tissue within the shaft of the penis. These plaques can cause pain and a curve to the erect penis and may interfere with the ability to penetrate during intercourse.
Am I at risk?
The true prevalence of PD is not know. Men do not always report signs and symptoms of Peyronie’s disease, and doctors do not routinely inquire about them. Studies suggest that up to 13 percent of men are affected by Peyronie’s disease. Although it is more common in Caucasian men of northern European descent, Peyronie’s disease can affect men of any heritage. This condition may run in families and there is an association with scar tissue that forms along the tendons in the hands (Dupuytren’s contracture). Often there is a history of injury to the penis which may be sustained during normal intercourse.
How is it evaluated?
A thorough history and physical examination is usually sufficient to make the diagnosis. Having pictures of the curve during erection is helpful. An ultrasound of the penis can confirm the location of the scar tissue and aid in treatment planning.
How is it treated?
Oral therapies are not effective and do not improve curvature, penile length or disease progression. Some oral therapies are effective for treating pain. Injectable medications like interferon and verapamil have limited benefit. They have largely been replaced by a new injectable medication called Xiaflex that has been shown to improve penile curvature and is FDA approved for treating Peyronie's disease. Surgery is considered the gold-standard treatment, and results are best when surgery is performed at a high-volume center. Traction therapy also shows promise.