Managing Peyronie’s Disease: Treatment Insights

Peyronie’s disease is a disorder characterized by the development of fibrous scar tissue inside the penis, leading to curved, painful erections. The condition is named after François Gigot de la Peyronie, a French surgeon who first described it in the 18th century. The disease can significantly affect a man’s sexual health and quality of life, but various treatments are available to manage and alleviate symptoms.

Causes of Peyronie’s disease

The precise cause of Peyronie’s disease is not entirely understood, but it is generally believed to stem from minor penile trauma or injury. Here are the primary causes and contributing factors:

  1. Trauma or Injury: Physical injury to the penis during sexual activity, sports, or accidents can cause internal bleeding and subsequent scar tissue formation. This trauma can be acute or repetitive, leading to the buildup of fibrous tissue.
  2. Genetic Predisposition: A genetic link is suggested, as Peyronie’s disease sometimes runs in families, indicating that genetic factors may play a role in its development.
  3. Connective Tissue Disorders: Men with certain connective tissue disorders, such as Dupuytren’s contracture (a condition affecting the hands), have a higher risk of developing Peyronie’s disease.
  4. Age: The risk of developing Peyronie’s disease increases with age. This is likely due to the accumulation of minor injuries over time and the body's decreased ability to heal as it ages.
  5. Medical Conditions: Conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and autoimmune disorders may contribute to the development of Peyronie’s disease due to their effects on blood vessels and healing processes.

Symptoms of Peyronie’s disease

The symptoms of Peyronie’s disease can vary in severity and may appear gradually or suddenly. Common symptoms include:

  1. Curvature of the Penis: The penis may curve upward, downward, or to one side, making sexual intercourse difficult or painful.
  2. Painful Erections: Pain during erections is common, particularly during the acute phase of the disease when the scar tissue is forming.
  3. Scar Tissue: The presence of palpable lumps or bands of hardened tissue under the skin of the penis can be felt.
  4. Shortened Penis: Some men may notice a shortening of the penis due to the curvature and scar tissue.
  5. Erectile Dysfunction: Difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection may occur, partly due to the psychological impact of the disease.


Diagnosis of Peyronie’s disease typically involves:

  1. Physical Examination: A doctor can often feel the scar tissue during an examination.
  2. Medical History: A discussion of symptoms, medical history, and any history of penile injuries.
  3. Ultrasound: Imaging tests, such as ultrasound, can help visualize the scar tissue and assess blood flow in the penis.

Treatment Options

Treatment for Peyronie’s disease depends on the severity of symptoms and the degree of curvature. Options include:

  1. Watchful Waiting: For mild cases with no significant pain or sexual dysfunction, doctors may recommend a wait-and-see approach as some cases improve without treatment.
  2. Medications: Oral medications such as pentoxifylline and injections directly into the scar tissue (e.g., collagenase Clostridium histolyticum) can help reduce curvature and pain. These treatments aim to break down the fibrous tissue and improve penile function.
  3. Shockwave Therapy: Low-intensity shockwave therapy is an emerging treatment that may help break down scar tissue and improve symptoms by promoting healing and reducing pain.
  4. Penile Traction Therapy: Devices that stretch the penis may reduce curvature and increase length over time. This method requires consistent use over several months for noticeable results.
  5. Surgery: For severe cases or when other treatments fail, surgical options include:
    • Nesbit Procedure: This involves removing or pinching tissue on the opposite side of the scar to straighten the penis. It is effective but may slightly shorten the penis.
    • Plaque Incision and Grafting: This procedure involves cutting the scar tissue and adding a graft to straighten the penis. It is suitable for more severe curvatures but carries risks such as erectile dysfunction.
    • Penile Implants: In men with erectile dysfunction, implants can help achieve erections and straighten the penis. This is often a last resort when other treatments have failed.

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Peyronie’s disease can be a distressing condition, but various treatments are available to manage symptoms and improve quality of life. Early consultation with a healthcare professional is crucial for effective management and to explore the best treatment options based on individual needs. Managing Peyronie’s disease often requires a multifaceted approach, including lifestyle modifications, medical treatments, and, in some cases, surgical interventions to restore sexual function and alleviate discomfort.

Dr. Satinder SinghManaging Peyronie’s Disease: Treatment Insights

Dr. Satinder Singh

Phone: +91-94165 34999, +91-94670 15252


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