HEALTH CONDITIONS

A comprehensive list of today's common ailments and health conditions.

Peyronie's Disease

By Niki Hampton

Induration penis plastica, commonly known as Peyronie’s Disease, is chronic inflammation of the soft tissue in the penis. Peyronie’s Disease is a connective tissue disorder that affects about 5% of men. One of the specific causes is scar tissue forms in the thick sheath of tissue surrounding the corpora cavernosa.

This condition can make sex painful. It tends to affect Caucasian males over the age of 40 with an A+ blood type, though others have been affected. While Peyronie’s Disease is confined to the penis, some men also experience other connective tissue disorders.

Symptoms

One of the most defining markers is the curvature of the penis. The scar tissue causes many symptoms. They include abnormal curvature, erectile dysfunction, indentation, shortening, pain and loss of girth.

Causes

There is no definitive cause of Peyronie’s Disease, but some cases are caused by trauma or injury to the penis through sexual activity. Some beta blockers list the disease as a possible side effect.

Diagnosis

While a general practitioner can make a diagnosis with an ultrasound, it’s important to see an urologist to confirm the diagnosis and work with treatment options.

Treatment

Without treatment 12-13% of the cases improve over time, 40-50% get worse and the rest stay relatively the same. There are a variety of treatments that have been tried and some found mild success while others are quite extreme.

Medication

While there is no magic pill, there are some medications and supplements that have been tested. The injectable drug Xiaflex, originally approved to treat Depuytren’s contracture, has been shown to break down the collagen in the penis that causes the disease.

Vitamin E has reported some success, but they are not consistent among many studies over time. A combination of Vitamin E and colchine has shown some success in slowing the progression of the disease.

Some anti-inflammatory medications have also been considered, but have been found to be ineffective in most cases. The same is said to be true of Interferon-alpha-2b. Many other formulations of medications and injectable have also been tried, but none showed enough improvement to be considered successful.

Surgery

Surgery is another option, but considered a last resort. The Nesbit operation should only be done by a highly skilled urological surgeon with experience in this specific operation. Surgery can also cause a shortening of the penis.

Physical Therapy & Devices

While penis extenders and other physical therapy methods have been tried, they are often not successful enough to help.

Though considered a treatment option, no matter the course of action counseling should always be considered. Dealing with Peyronie’s Disease can be tough emotional and psychologically.


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