Peyronie’s disease affects millions of American men ages 40-70 every year. Caused by scar tissue in the penis, this painful condition can make it difficult to enjoy sex and can cause a bent or curved penis.
Peyronie’s disease may sometimes resolve on its own after a year or two, but waiting it out may lead to complications like erectile dysfunction or a permanently bent or curved penis.
If you suspect you have this condition, you may wonder when it’s time to seek professional treatment.
Our team of specialists at Urology Associates Medical Group in Burbank, California, is here to help answer your questions about Peyronie’s, including when to schedule an appointment with a medical doctor.
Understanding Peyronie’s disease
Peyronie’s disease is a condition that affects up to 10% of men age 40 or older. The disease causes inflammation in the penis that turns into hard scar tissue called plaque.
The main symptom of the condition is scar tissue in the penis that you can feel through the skin. It may occur in any location, including winding around the penis, but it most frequently appears on the top side.
This scar tissue becomes hard and inflexible, often causing issues like soft erections, painful erections, or a curve or bend in the penis. The change in angle can make penetration during sex difficult, and sometimes the scar tissue causes the penis to shrink or get shorter.
While the exact cause isn’t known, researchers believe these factors may play a role:
- Injury to the penis that causes internal bleeding
- Genetics or family history
- Environmental factors
- A history of connective tissue disorders (e.g., plantar fasciitis)
- A history of prostate cancer
- An autoimmune disorder (e.g., diabetes)
Age also seems to play a role since Pyeronie’s disease rarely forms before age 40.
Signs it’s time to see a urologist
Even though there’s no cure for Peyronie’s disease, if you suspect you have the condition, it’s time to seek professional help.
When you come to see us at Urology Associates Medical Group, our urologist, Philip Weintraub, MD, rules out other disorders and conducts a physical exam to diagnose Peyronie’s disease. In some cases, he may ask you to have an imaging study, like an ultrasound.
Early intervention may help prevent debilitating complications down the line. If you notice any of these signs of Peyronie’s disease, schedule an exam sooner rather than later:
- Significant or new curvature of the penis (during erections)
- Difficulty getting a full erection
- Painful erections
- Shortening of the penis
- Pain in the penis
- Areas of hard tissue or flat lumps you can feel
- Indentations or other deformities around the penis (during erections)
Other conditions and health concerns share some of these symptoms, so it’s important to get a medical evaluation.
Treating Peyronie’s disease
Once we confirm Peyronie’s disease, we assess your symptoms and the severity of your condition to create a customized treatment plan to help you stay sexually active and pain-free.
There’s no cure for Peyronie’s disease, and the condition sometimes heals itself over time (6-24 months). As such, our treatment plans most often include medications to help manage pain and reduce the formation of scar tissue. We may also recommend supplements and stretching exercises.
Depending on your condition, we may discuss different surgical options to treat Peyronie’s disease, including the insertion of a prosthetic and elongating or shortening one side of the penis.
These different surgical procedures each offer pros and cons. Dr. Weintraub provides an in-depth explanation of any possible interventions and answers your questions to help you make an informed decision.
Don’t wait to seek help for Peyronie’s disease. Schedule an appointment with our team at Urology Associates Medical Group in Burbank, California, today. Sheltering in place? We also offer telemedicine appointments.