Peyronie’s Disease Treatment
Peyronie’s disease is a form of erectile dysfunction (ED) in which the erect penis bends or curves and can become painful. While not every man with a curvature has this condition, people who do may have trouble having intercourse. Fortunately, there are several types of Peyronie’s disease treatments available that don’t require surgery.
Although the cause of Peyronie’s disease is not entirely clear, many health professionals suggest that the most common cause may be the result of trauma to the penis shaft, causing the buildup of scar tissue. Still, others note that the condition has also been seen in men who haven’t experienced any trauma to the region. Others suggest that scar tissue just builds up over time.
Symptoms of Peyronie’s Disease
The primary symptom of Peyronie’s disease is the presence of scar tissue called plaque which can usually be felt underneath the skin.
It sometimes appears to circumvent the penis which looks like a ring formation. In the latter, more severe stages of the disease, the plaque gathers calcium and becomes quite hard subsequently causing painful erections or severe curvature.
This curvature can make sexual penetration difficult. In addition, the presence of scar tissue may cause the penis to shorten.
Diagnosing Peyronie’s Disease
To diagnose Peyronie’s, a licensed medical provider will examine the penis to locate the scar tissue and also measure its length to determine whether the penis becomes shorter as the disease progresses. In addition, some providers might have the patient bring photos of the erect penis so they can determine the degree of curvature.
A medical provider might order an ultrasound test of the erect penis but this is not always necessary. Ultrasounds are commonly used to test the penis for additional abnormalities. These tests can reveal the presence of scar tissue or detect restrictions in blood flow.
Types of Treatment for Peyronie’s Disease
The type of treatment for Peyronie’s disease depends on how long the patient has been exhibiting symptoms.
In the acute phase of Peyronie’s, a man might have either penile pain, changes in length or curvature, or a deformity. This is the beginning stages of the disease which typically lasts for 2 to 4 weeks although in some cases it can last up to a year.
During the chronic phase of Peyronie’s, there is no penile pain nor any changes in appearance or shape. This is the later stage of the disease that usually occurs between 3 to 12 months after symptoms appear.
If your symptoms aren’t severe, some providers may prefer to see if the scar tissue breaks up on its own and goes away. Various types of treatments for Peyronie’s disease include:
Traction therapy is using a self-applied mechanical device to stretch the penis out for a period of time in order to improve curvature and penile length.
Depending on the device you use, traction therapy may be done 30 minutes a day or several hours. Traction therapy is mainly implemented during the early phases of the disease, but it can also be used in combination with other treatments or after surgery.
If the patient is experiencing more pain and or curvature over time, health professionals might suggest the injection of certain drugs into the penis. These include a series of injections to break down the buildup of collagen. These medicines include:
● Collagenase Clostridium Hystolyticum (Xiaflex). This medication is FDA-approved for use in men with moderate to severe curvatures of the penis. Using Collagenase seems to be most effective when used with “modeling,” forcibly bending back the penis in the opposite direction of the curve
● Verapamil. Normally used for treating high blood pressure, this medication interrupts the production of collagen which helps form scar tissue in the penis.
● Interferon. This protein helps to disrupt the production of fibrous tissue and breaks it down. Studies have shown that this medication can help reduce penile pain with Peyronie’s as well.
● Shockwave Therapy. This painless, non-surgical procedure uses a small device to send electromagnetic sound pulses aimed at the affected area of the penis. This can break up plaque and reduce the curvature of the penis or remove it altogether.
● Priapus Shot. Also known as the p-shot, this is an injection into the penis that contains platelet-rich plasma (PRP). The PRP is derived from your own blood using a centrifuge device to separate stem cells from red and white blood cells. Once injected it is said to be able to break down the scar tissue and reduce curvature.
If you think you’re experiencing symptoms of Peyronie’s disease, or want to know more about treatments for erectile dysfunction, then let’s talk.