Peyronie’s disease causes, risk factors and treatment

Escrito por: Mr Rozh Jalil
Editado por: Emma McLeod

Peyronie’s disease can make itself known with a variety of symptoms, with the severity depending on each individual. Mr Jalil is an expert in the diagnosis and management (medical and surgical) of Peyronie’s disease and in this article, he shares his expertise so that you can understand this condition and its treatment.

A man sitting on a chair and hunched over. He has his hands together near his face in a worried stance.

What is Peyronie’s disease?

Peyronie’s disease is a connective tissue disorder that affects the penis, leading to scar formation. It also causes a curvature of the penis. Generally, it appears as a scar or plaques (pieces of flat scar tissue) that can be felt and is particularly painful during an erection.


Peyronie’s disease affects sexual activity and in severe cases, this is because the curve in the penis, can make having sex difficult, painful or even impossible, either by significant curvature or by erectile dysfunction.


What causes Peyronie’s disease?

The cause of Peyronie's disease is not yet understood. It's widely thought that the condition occurs after an injury or repeated trauma to the penis when erect, such as being bent during sex, but it can develop without any obvious cause.


The symptoms of Peyronie's disease include:

  • A hard lump (plaque) in the shaft of the penis.
  • A curve in the penis when it's erect (usually it curves upwards, less commonly to one side, or it could be both).
  • Pain in the penis, usually during an erection.
  • An hourglass deformity.
  • Loss of length or girth of the penis.


Who is most at risk of Peyronie’s disease?

The condition generally affects men over 40 but it can happen to men at any age. Risk factors for Peyronie’s disease include hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol and diabetes mellitus. There is also a possibility that Peyronie's disease could be familial.


Does Peyronie’s disease always require treatment?

If the condition doesn’t cause pain or affect the sexual function, it doesn’t need treatment. The condition can sometimes improve without treatment.


Is surgery necessary for Peyronie’s disease?

Various non-surgical treatments are available, including medicines and injections of steroids into the affected area. However, there is limited evidence of their effectiveness.


In severe cases, it may be possible to treat Peyronie's disease with surgery.

Surgery may involve:

  • Cutting the plaque (flat scar tissue) and attaching a patch to straighten the penis.
  • Removing an area of the penis opposite the plaque to cancel out the bend (this can lead to a slight shortening of the penis).
  • Implanting a device to straighten the penis.


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