Peyronie’s Disease: What is it? Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

It is a disorder that affects the connective tissue that surrounds the erectile bodies of the male reproductive system.

The condition is caused by the formation of a dense and fibrous scar tissue or plaque, in the tunica albuginea of ​​the penis, the sheath surrounding the erectile tissue.

The resulting scars can cause pain in the penis, curvature, shortening, indentation and erectile dysfunction.

Peyronie’s disease occurs when hard nodules, also called plaques, form in the layer of tissue that covers the vascular erectile tissue on the shaft of the penis.

This is a process that can cause severe penile flexion and shortening.

This disease interferes with erections and may curl enough to interfere with sexual activity.

This is a disease that causes a lot of stress for both the man and his partner.

There are a number of treatments available for patients with Peyronie’s disease that will help treat the curvature, although none is “curative” in the sense that none can reverse this abnormal process of wound healing.

Most therapies for Peyronie’s disease are designed to stop the extra curvature, or straighten the penis so that the man can have a straight functional erection.

Peyronie’s disease is a disorder that affects approximately three percent of middle-aged and older men.

Causes of Peyronie’s disease

The exact cause of the disease is still unknown, some experts believe that microscopic fractures that occur during normal sexual activity can lead to this exaggerated reaction to wound healing in patients with Peyronie’s disease.

Many researchers believe that the plaque of Peyronie’s disease can occur after the penis has been hit or bent, which causes bleeding inside the penis.

In addition to trauma to the penis, factors such as genetics can contribute to the disease.

The elastic in the layer of the two erectile chambers (or cylinders) in the penis can become more brittle over time, which can also cause an injury.


Due to the formation of scar tissue in the penis, with the presence of nodules or palpable plaques.

Patients with Peyronie’s disease may experience painful erections and within the late symptoms may present a fibrous layer, a curvature or distortion, shortening or narrowing of the penis, during an erection.

In severe cases, these symptoms can lead to erectile dysfunction by interfering with venous occlusion by inhibiting erection.

The problem can not be seen while the penis is soft.

In severe cases, the plaque makes the penis less flexible. The pain of Peyronie’s disease is usually mild and untreated.

This pain can only occur when an erection occurs.

The pain can be caused by forcing the penis to bend or bend during an erection.

In most cases, the pain diminishes with time, but the curvature of the penis may still be a problem.

Occasionally, the milder forms of the disease will improve without causing great pain or permanent flexion. Peyronie’s disease can also make the erect penis shorter; this change can be permanent.


The diagnosis of Peyronie’s disease is usually made by taking a detailed medical history and performing a complete physical examination.

In some cases, an ultrasound may be used to identify the hardened plaque on the penis.

In rare cases in which Peyronie’s disease can not be diagnosed by a physical examination, a biopsy may be recommended.

During a biopsy, a small amount of cells is removed from the penile plaque and then examined under a microscope to help diagnose the condition and rule out other diseases, such as cancer.


The treatment recommended in the last stage is surgery, because it allows correction of acute deformations, usually a wide variety of treatments are recommended to minimize symptoms.

Among the most used treatments are:


Treatment is recommended by limiting its use of medications such as vitamin E, tamoxifen, colchicine, potassium aminobenzoate, interferon, side effects or poor response.

Medications, often injected into the penis, such as Xiaflex and Verapamil can be recommended .

These treatments consist of a series of injections in the penis that induces collagenase activity, eliminating collagen from the fibrotic plaque.

Patients treated with Xiaflex can be supplemented with gentle penis exercises for six weeks after treatment.

Non-surgical options:

Iontophoresis, a technique that uses a weak electrical current to administer medications through the skin.

This transdermal diffusion of verapamil and dexamethasone is an alternative for the administration of drugs inside the albuginea in Peyronie’s disease.

Changes in lifestyle:

Changes in lifestyle can reduce the risk of Peyronie’s disease. These include:

  • Give up smoking.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption
  • Do not use illegal drugs.
  • Exercise regularly


Surgery is the last resort of action in the case of severe penile deformity.

You must wait at least one year before going to surgery for Peyronie’s disease. Surgical solutions include:

  • Shortening the unaffected side : Like the Nesbit procedure. When this procedure is performed, surgeons remove or adjust the excess tissue on the longer side. This results in a straighter and shorter penis.
  • Penile implants: In this procedure, remove the damaged area and replace the defect of the tunic with a graft of autologous tissue, tissues that are not of the patient of human or animal origin or penile prostheses.

The shortening of the unaffected side is used when the curvature is less severe.

About 15 percent of cases, Peyronie’s disease resolves spontaneously without treatment.

However, more than 40 percent of cases can get worse.

If treatment is necessary, oral medications, injections and surgery may be used.

Therapy for the condition aims to relieve symptoms and preserve erectile function.