Peyronie’s disease definition and facts
- Peyronie’s disease is the development of scar tissue inside the penis that results in abnormal curvature of the penis.
- The exact cause of Peyronie’s disease is not known; however, research has suggested these agents as possible causes of plaque or scar formation in the penile shaft.
- Some of the symptoms of Peyronie’s disease include:
- Peyronie’s disease is diagnosed by physical examination of the penis that shows abnormal curvature and plaque/scar formation that may be palpated.
- There is no cure for Peyronie’s disease; however, symptoms can be treated with vitamins, supplements, and other medications.
- Complications of the disease include pain with intercourse, inability to have intercourse, erectile dysfunction, depression and a permanent abnormal angulation of the penis.
- The prognosis of Peyronie’s disease varies from good to poor, depending on the individual’s response to treatments.
What are the symptoms of Peyronie’s disease?
The symptoms of Peyronie’s disease usually are a combination of one or more symptoms as follows:
- Unusual angulation of the penile shaft (either when flaccid or erect or both)
- Pain during erections and/or during sex
- Scarring or plaque palpated at the abnormal bend or angle of the penis
- An indentation of the penis shaft at the site of the plaque or scarring
- Erectile dysfunction
- Inability to have intercourse
What causes Peyronie’s disease?
The exact cause of Peyronie’s disease is not known. However, whatever can cause plaque or scar formation in the penile shaft is a likely causal candidate. Researchers have suggested several possible agents such as vitamin E deficiency, beta-blocking medications, elevations in serotonin, and genetic causes. Some researchers think that minor vascular traumas to the penis (during sex, athletic or exercise endeavors) that occur repeatedly over time may lead to scar formation. None of these possible agents or processes is proven to be the cause to date.
What procedures and tests diagnose Peyronie’s disease?
The patient’s history of pain with erections and/or sex and the physical examination of the penis that shows abnormal angulation of the penile shaft or the presence of plaque or scarring felt or palpated in the penis is usually the basis for diagnosis. Urologists are specialists who usually diagnose and treat this disease. There are no definitive blood tests for this disease, although a human cell antigen, HLA-B7 has been associated with the disease. In general, no additional tests are necessary, but ultrasound techniques, when accompanied by an injection of drug into the penis (intercavernous injection) can help show the doctor where and how extensive is the scarring, and aid the doctor in determining treatments.
Surgical therapy is done on some patients. These surgical patients usually have to meet criteria that may vary from surgeon to surgeon. In general, surgical therapy is done when other methods have failed or the patient is in the chronic stage of the disease and erectile dysfunction is part of the patient’s symptoms. Surgical therapy may involve incision or cutting the scarred tissue, scar tissue removal, scar tissue removal with auto-grafting or artificial graft material. In addition, implanted devices (penile implant) that allow the patient to sustain an erection are also utilized in some individuals.
Can exercises help Peyronie’s disease?
Some individuals suggest stretching and/or milking the penis are exercises that can help reduce the penile curvature that occurs in the disease. Patients should discuss these techniques with their doctor (urologist) before using these methods.
What are the complications of Peyronie’s disease?
The complications of the disease are mainly the symptoms of:
- Painful intercourse
- Inability to have intercourse due to pain or erectile dysfunction
- Permanent angulation of the penis
In addition, surgical complications may include:
- Reduction in penis length
- Loss of any erectile functions
What is the prognosis for Peyronie’s disease? Can it be cured?
The prognosis (outcome) of this disease is variable, from good to poor, depending on the response to treatment and the patient’s emotional response to the symptoms and treatments. There is no treatment that will cure Peyronie’s disease, but symptoms can be reduced.
Source: Medicine Net
The structure of the penis
The erectile tissue of the penis – called corpora cavernosa, or corporal bodies – looks like two rods running the length of penis. There are blood vessels inside these ‘rods’. During sexual arousal, the nerves that supply the penis allow these relatively empty blood vessels to open and fill with blood, causing the erection.
Peyronie’s disease tends to start in the membrane that covers the corporal bodies. It can also progress to invade the erectile tissue. The contraction of the plaques causes the penis to bend and the invasion of the corporal bodies interferes with blood flow, making it difficult for the penis to become erect.
The plaque most often develops on the top side of the penis, causing it to curve upwards. Sometimes, the plaque develops on the underside, which means the penis curves downwards. In a small percentage of cases, plaques grow on both the upper and lower sides, which shortens and distorts the penis.