Urology Blog

Managing Peyronie’s Disease Begins with a Conversation

Men have a historic reputation for being particularly mindful of a certain part of their body. The penis has been scrutinized by just about every man who has lived. Various characteristics, such as a slight lean or curve, can make a man self-conscious and even concerned that his anatomy is somehow abnormal. In most situations, a minor curvature or lean to one side indicates nothing more than that, a curve or lean. However, if a man also experiences pain or sexual dysfunction related to a curved penile shaft, he may benefit from a thorough conversation with his doctor.

Peyronie’s Disease: What is It, Exactly?

The term Peyronie’s disease is used to describe an obvious curve in the penile shaft. According to research, this condition has been more commonly diagnosed in men between the ages of 40 and 70. However, experts have suggested that there could be many cases involving younger men that simply haven’t been formally diagnosed. Until recently, there hasn’t been much talk about the way the penis may curve or understanding of why this may happen to some men.

Scientific data demonstrates that Peyronie’s disease is a condition that involves either scar tissue or the accumulation of thick plaque in the tubular membrane that assists erectile function. When thick tissue forms on one side of the penile shaft, the erection will be shorter on that side, causing it to curve, sometimes uncomfortably, to the shortened side. It is believed that plaques and scar tissue both relate to a previous injury to the penis, either when erect or when flaccid.

Symptoms of Peyronie’s Disease

The most recognizable symptom of Peyronie’s disease is the sharp curvature of the penile shaft. Additionally, men may develop symptoms including:

  • A hard lump or area of thickened tissue on one side of the penis
  • An hourglass-shaped penile shaft
  • Loss of penile girth or length
  • Painful erection and/or sexual intercourse
  • Erectile dysfunction

Treating Peyronie’s Disease

A board-certified urologist should be consulted for the diagnosis and treatment of Peyronie’s disease. A thorough medical evaluation can identify the stage of disease, acute or chronic, and viable treatment options that align with the stage of disease and a man’s preference for care. While it is possible and sometimes ideal to treat Peyronie’s disease with surgery, recent advances in treatment include an injectable that dissolves the plaques that are causing shaft shortening on one side.

It is no secret that many men tend to tackle problems without asking for help. Peyronie’s disease is not an instance in which you want to do this. Get the help you need by calling our Chattanooga urology office at (423) 778-5910.

Nonsurgical Treatment Options for Peyronie’s Disease

Peyronie’s Disease ChattanoogaTo say that a man’s sense of self-worth and well-being are attached, to some degree, penile function and appearance would not by any means be a stretch. The development of Peyronie’s disease, which affects only about 10% of men, can be devastating. The condition itself is not a threat to general health, but it has been shown to affect how a man interacts in his intimate relationships.

Because the curvature of the penis can create self-consciousness for the affected man, and physical discomfort for his partner, there is immense value in obtaining proper treatment for this condition. The problem is, many men feel apprehensive about speaking with their doctor due to a belief that surgery will be necessary. Here, we want to discuss nonsurgical treatment options for Peyronie’s disease.

  • Oral therapy. In some cases, the same types of drugs developed for erectile dysfunction, called phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors, may alleviate symptoms. It must be stated, though, that oral therapy is used in a limited number of cases due to limited effectiveness. The entire point of treatment is to attain satisfactory results. If it does not seem as though oral medication will work for you, we will not recommend it.
  • Traction therapy. Traction works by opposing the natural force of the penile curvature. Traction therapy involves wearing a specific device for a few hours a day. Data suggests that this method of care works best when combined with another therapy, such as intralesional treatment.
  • Intralesional therapy directly treats the plaques that have formed in the tiny tubules of the penis. Intralesional therapy is injected and has demonstrated promising results.

As much as urologists understand a patient’s desire to avoid surgery, the objective in treating Peyronie’s disease is to restore proper shape and function, as well as to improve comfort and emotional well-being. While studies continue on various nonsurgical therapies, the best results have been attributed to surgical correction.

At UT Urology in Chattanooga, it is our intent to assist patients in finding the appropriate treatment for conditions such as Peyronie’s disease. If you have questions regarding this concern or available therapies, we would love to speak with you. Call (423) 778-8765.

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