Peyronie’s Disease

Definition

Curving or bending of the penis, resulting in painful erections is described as Peyronie’s disease. It is a medical condition in which a scar tissue of unknown origin is formed in the penile shaft. Men affected with this disorder present an unusual curvature of the erect penis. Persistent, chronic pain of the penis during erection may result in erectile dysfunction, making intercourse unpleasant and difficult. It is an uncommon disorder that may appear in any male from their teens to old age. Although the exact cause behind scar formation is unknown, it can be completely quite effectively treated and managed with a combination of medication and surgery.

Symptoms

The onset of diseased symptoms may arise suddenly or develops gradually. Presence of an abnormal penile curvature is the main sign of Peyronie’s disease. However, the distorted curvature can only be seen during sexual arousal, while the symptoms is erect. The symptoms of Peyronie’s disease are as follows, although not all of these symptoms may be evident.

  • Unusual penis curvature, bending at odd angles during erection
  • Scars in the form of tissue mass that develop under the skin of penis
  • Mild to intense pain at the time of erection or during penetration

If left unattended, it may result in certain complications like:

  • Difficulty in getting or maintaining an erection (erectile dysfunction)
  • Shortening of the penis

In affected men, though painful erections improve within a year or two but the scar tissue and the curvature endures. Cancer of penis is rare but most sufferers misunderstand the tissue lumps to be some form of cancer.

Causes

Although the exact cause of developing Peyronie’s disease is not clear, a genetic defects seems to be a factor. The penis contains a pair of spongy tubes, encased in an elastic tissue, walls of which are lined with small blood vessels. Upon getting sexually aroused, the tubes get engorged with blood that makes the penis erect and tight.

Having sex or intense physical activity or an accident may rupture the blood vessels. The dead cells get trapped at the site of injury forming the wound scab, a sign of healing. Any problem in the normal wound-healing process results in formation of a permanent scar.

The area of the penis harboring the scar loses its flexibility. During erection, the scarred area of the penis does not stretch and the penis becomes curved. Unusual bending of penis may result in painful the intercourse. However, not all penis injury may develop into Peyronie’s disease.

Treatment

Mild bending or curving of penis that does not hamper sexual activity or present no pain is often overlooked. However, in severe conditions medication and even surgery may be necessary. The primary aim of the treatment is aimed at removing the scar tissue and straighten the penis.

With oral medications proving less effective in providing relief, drugs are often directly injected into the organ. Common drugs include:

  • Collagenase enzyme (verampil) disrupts the production of collagen, a structural protein required for scar tissue formation.
  • Interferons breaks fibrous tissue aggregates.

When medicines prove ineffective, surgical methods including penile implants are adopted for rectifying the penile curvature.

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