Peyronie’s disease is the development of rigid scar tissue within the penis, which can lead to abnormal curvature, painful erections, shortening of the penis, or even erectile dysfunction. Men’s penises exist in a variety of shapes, so a curved erection is not necessarily an indicator of the disease, but if it is coupled with pain or the inability to achieve or maintain an erection, then it may be time to see your urologist.
Risk factors that can increase the chance of Peyronie’s disease include: aging, penile trauma, surgery for prostate cancer, smoking, connective tissue disorders, and a family history of the disease.
Signs to look for when trying to determine if you have Peyronie’s disease
· A significant bend in the erect penis: once again, many men have curved erections, so this symptom alone is not necessarily an indicator of Peyronie’s disease. However, if it has a significant bend (such as one that is a 45° angle), or a widening, narrowing, or even hourglass shape, this could be an indicator that something is wrong.
· Erectile dysfunction: Peyronie’s disease, which involves pain, and the abnormal manipulation of the penis, can lead to the inability to achieve or maintain an erection. As with most of the symptoms of Peyronie’s, however, the symptom by itself is not necessarily an indicator, but rather when is coupled with others on the list.
· Gradual shortening of the penis: Peyronie’s disease can occur due to a traumatic injury to the penis, such as one occurring during sex. If you have sustained an injury to your penis, and notice it gradually shortening when erect, a visit to the doctor may be warranted. It should also be noted, however, that any injury sustained to the penis should be dialogued with a medical professional regardless of abnormalities, as a preventive measure.
· Scar tissue: rigid bands, plates, or patches of scar tissue are the cause of Peyronie’s disease. That being said, these areas can usually be felt under the skin of the penis in the form of rigid or restricting areas, especially ones near any bend.
· Pain: this symptom is one of the most common exhibited by Peyronie’s disease, and may be present either with or without an erection.
Treatment for Peyronie’s disease is designed to break down the collagen fibers and scar tissue that are causing pain. This may include stretching of the penis, removal of the scar tissue, surgical straightening, the implantation of a penile device, or a vacuum assisted device to enable an erection.
If you exhibit any of these symptoms, or are simply worried about the possibility of Peyronie’s disease, you should see a urologist. Only a qualified physician can diagnose and treat Peyronie’s disease, or any other medical condition. Your doctor can determine if you do have the disorder and advise you about a surgical correction, if necessary.
If you would like more information about Peyronie’s disease, or any other urological issue, please contact Carolina Urology Partners at (704) 786-5131 today. Dr. Richard Natale is a board-certified urologist with specialized experience in men’s health. You can also request an appointment online.