Treating Peyronie Disease
Peyronie disease occurs when the penis curves during an erection. This is most often due to a plaque (scar) that forms inside the penis. In some men, the plaque shrinks and disappears on its own, without treatment. If treatment is needed, the main goal is to relieve pain and make the penis straight enough for sex. Pain is caused by an erection and subsequent bending of the penis. Peyronie disease is not contagious or caused by any transmittable disease. There are different kinds of treatment. The success of these different treatments varies from man to man.
Medicine is usually tried for 1 to 2 years before other treatments are done. For some men, the disease will go away during this time. Medicine may help reduce pain. It may also help soften and shrink the plaque in the penis. Some medicines may be taken by mouth. And some may be rubbed right on the penis. Others may be injected into the plaque. Medicines that treat erectile dysfunction may help with some of the problems of Peyronie disease. But they will not treat the curvature or pain. Your doctor will discuss all your options and possible side effects with you.
Additional treatment options may include ultrasound therapy, radiation therapy, shockwave therapy, or iontophoresis which is the delivery of a cream through the skin by using low level electrical current.
Surgery is used in cases that can’t be treated by other means. It may also be done for a severe curve in the penis. It may also be done for severe pain that does not stop. Options for surgery include:
An incision in the plaque to release tension. Part of the plaque is removed and replaced with a graft.
Making the penis shorter. This is done on the opposite side of the plaque. It can cancel out the curve.
Implanting of a device (prosthesis). This can straighten the penis and make it rigid enough for sex.
Your doctor can discuss the risks and benefits of these treatments with you. Be sure to ask questions. Consider all of your options before you choose surgery.
Peyronie disease is hard to cure. Counseling may help you cope with the effects of the disease. It may help you and your partner find ways to deal with it.
June 20, 2017
Greenstein, Marc, DO,Hanrahan, John, MD,Image reviewed by StayWell medical illustration team.