What is Peyronie’s disease?
Acquired (not congenital) curvature of the penis is a common condition that affects up to 9% of males. It is believed to result from microtrauma to the lining of the erectile tissue (corpora) inside the penis. Microtrauma causes inflammation, scarring and plaque formation which leads to the shortening of one side of the penis, and curvature.
What problems occur as a result of Peyronie’s disease?
Peyronie’s disease can give rise to difficulty with engaging in sexual intercourse, including pain and discomfort for the male and his partner. When the curvature is significant it can result in the complete inability to engage in intercourse. The male can suffer psychological distress which further impacts erectile function and compounds feelings of anxiety and depression.
What treatments are available?
Many treatments have been investigated but only two types of treatment have shown robust results. The first is an injectable treatment that breaks down the collagen in the plaque that causes the curvature. Since the treatment breaks down the collagen it is called a collagenase. It is an outpatient procedure that requires multiple injections. It is a relatively new treatment in Australia and successful outcomes will depend on individual patient factors. The other treatment is surgical correction which involves either cutting out the plaque or more commonly putting sutures in the corpora to compensate for the curvature. Surgery is commonly associated with some penis shortening.
Your urologist will discuss the treatment options most appropriate for your circumstances.