Peyronie’s Disease

Overview

What is Peyronie’s disease?

Peyronie’s (say: "pay-rone-ees") disease is the name for a sharp curve in the penis. In some men, Peyronie’s disease is a mild problem without symptoms. Other men who have Peyronie’s disease may have pain during erection or erections that aren’t hard enough for sex.

Causes & Risk Factors

What causes Peyronie’s disease?

Scar tissue under the skin of the penis causes the curve. No one knows why the scar tissue starts. Some men who have Peyronie’s disease have had a penis injury that causes scar tissue. The scar tissue feels like a ridge or a row of tiny bumps. The scar tissue can keep getting worse during the first few years, making the penis curve more and more. You might notice this more during an erection. After a few years, the scar tissue usually stops getting worse, but it doesn’t go away.

Treatment

What can I do about the curve in my penis?

There is no cure for Peyronie’s disease. Medicines like aminobenzoate potassium or vitamin E help some men. Aminobenzoate potassium is a prescription medicine. Vitamin E is available over the counter. If you take vitamin E, don’t take more than your doctor tells you. Too much vitamin E won’t help you with your problem. Too much vitamin E or aminobenzoate potassium can hurt your liver. Aminobenzoate potassium can also make you nauseous or take away your appetite.

Another treatment option is an intralesional injection. This means the doctor would give you a shot directly into the scar tissue. The shot contains the drug verapamil. Verapamil may help break down the scar tissue and allow new tissue to grow. These shots are usually given over 3 months.

Can surgery help?

Surgery might help men who have pain during erection or men who can’t keep an erection long enough to have sex. There are several surgical procedures that can help. One option is to have a prosthesis (something to make the penis firm) put in the penis. The prosthesis helps make the penis straighter. It also helps erections last longer. Another option is to have the scar tissue removed from the penis. Your doctor can explain all surgical options and can help you decide which is best for you.

Other Organizations

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

  • What treatment is best for me?

  • Is surgery my best option?

  • How long is the recovery time after surgery?

  • Will I be able to have sex without pain after treatment?

  • Are there any support groups in my area?

  • Are there any side effects from treatment?

Citations

  • Peyronie’s Disease: Current Management by J Fitkin, M.D. and GT Ho, M.D.( 08/01/99, http://www.aafp.org/afp/990800ap/549.html)