Peyronie’s disease—referred to as Peyronie disease or penile fibrosis—is a medical condition in which scar tissue (plaque) forms in the penis, causing it to bend or curve. The plaque buildup forms within the tunica albuginea—the fibrous connective tissue in the penis responsible for trapping blood to sustain an erection—causing the penis to improperly stretch (curve or bend) during an erection. While the plaque is noncancerous, it can cause significant pain and sexual dysfunction in men, interfering with their daily lives and causing unwarranted embarrassment.
Fortunately, Peyronie’s disease is treatable, and most men are able to return to optimal sexual performance through noninvasive therapy. To schedule a consultation with a healthcare provider that specializes in Peyronie’s disease treatment, click here to find a GAINSWave provider near you.
Causes of Peyronie’s Disease
Though there is no exact known cause for Peyronie’s disease, or rather it is not fully understood, there are a number of factors which appear to contribute to the manifestation of Peyronie’s disease. These include:
- Acute or repeated penile injuries from activities such as sexual intercourse, physical activity or other form of physical trauma
- Autoimmune disease, particularly conditions affecting connective tissue
- Age-related changes to the elasticity of penile tissues (men between the ages of 40 and 70 appear most affected)
- Family history
Peyronie’s Disease Symptoms
Ranging in severity, Peyronie’s disease symptoms can worsen over time or appear rapidly. The most frequently experienced symptoms include:
- Crooked or bent penis
- Erectile dysfunction, in which a man has difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
- Pain with or without an erection
- Lumps (plaque) which can be felt under the skin
- Penis shortening
Peyronie’s Disease Treatments
If you are experiencing pain or penis curvature, it is important to seek care from a healthcare provider, especially if it prevents you from having sexual intercourse or healthy intimate relationships. Your healthcare provider will begin by reviewing your medical and family history in addition to a physical exam in which he or she will examine your penis for signs of plaque. If a physical exam fails to produce evidence of plaque, or your healthcare provider would like to pinpoint the exact location of the plaque buildup, imaging tests such as an X-ray or ultrasound may be required.
There are several Peyronie’s treatment options you will need to consider, including:
- Oral, topical and injectable medications
- Vacuum devices
- Extracorporeal shock wave therapy
Recommended only in long-term Peyronie’s disease cases in which severe penis curvature is present and noninvasive treatments fail to work, surgery can help to remove scar tissue and correct curvature. The most common Peyronie’s disease surgeries include a penile implant to help sustain an erection and straighten the penis, grafting to cover openings in the tunica albuginea once scar tissue is removed, and plication in which a surgeon pinches or removes a piece of tunica albuginea on the opposite side of the plague buildup on the penis to help straighten it. As with any surgical procedure, these surgeries have risks including shortening or numbness in the penis.
Medication focuses on reducing plaque to reduce the penis curvature and overall pain. Collagenase is the only FDA-approved medication for Peyronie’s disease; collagenase is injected into the scar tissue to help break it down. While clinical trials prove it can help to reduce the curve, this medication can cause severe side effects which should be considered when evaluating your treatment options. These side effects include penile fractures, allergic reaction, bleeding, swelling, itching, erection problems and painful sex.
Vacuum devices attempt to stretch and bend the penis to regain a normal shape through mechanical traction. It requires daily use, over the course of several months, through the use of an at-home, inflatable vacuum cylinder. While vacuum devices can provide small improvements to penis curvature, they are unable to provide significant improvements in men with moderate to severe penis curvature, and men who experience erectile dysfunction in addition to Peyronie’s disease.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy
Shock wave therapy utilizes high frequency waves to open blood vessels and break down plaque, thereby reducing the curvature of the penis and correcting any potential erectile dysfunction. It is one of the only drug-free, surgery-free therapeutic options for men with Peyronie’s disease that has proven its effectiveness in clinical trials.
Shock Wave Therapy with Nourishing Wellness Medical Center
We are proud to offer GAINSWave® to help correct Peyronie’s disease and erectile dysfunction in men. GAINSWave® utilizes non-invasive extracorporeal shock wave therapy from the comfort of our office. Each session take only 20-30 minutes and leaves you with no unwanted side effects or downtime.
Don’t let the discomfort and embarrassment of Peyronie’s disease control your sexual performance and overall wellbeing. Contact our office today to make an appointment with an experienced healthcare provider trained in the GAINSWave® procedure for Peyronie’s disease. Click here to find a GAINSWave provider near you!