Curvature Of The Penis
Peyronie’s Disease is where a hard lump or plaque begins to form on the upper or lower side of the penis in the layers that contain erectile tissue. It begins as an inflammation and can turn into a hardened scar, it is not cancerous. The plaque usually develops on the top of shaft which makes the penis bend or curve (penile curvature) upward.
If the plaque is on the underside of the penis it will bend downwards. In cases where the plaque develops on both sides it can lead to indentation and even shortening of the penis. In the most severe cases the plaque becomes so hardened that a great deal of pain is felt and the penis loses all flexibility which can make sex sometimes impossible.
Peyronie’s Disease affects about one in 100 men to varying degrees although surprisingly, few men are aware of the condition.
No one is certain why some people contract Peyronie’s disease. Some say there is a link to fibrosis or scarring of other tissues in the body such as Dypuytren’s contracture of the hand. It is also believed to be hereditary.
Researchers now believe that trauma to the penis can cause the plaque to develop as this causes bleeding inside the penis and injury of the elastic lining in the chambers inside the penis. Ageing increases the risk as the body’s tissues are not as elastic as they once were, so any trauma can increase the risk of long term injury to the penis due to the slow healing process as the plaque can form into very tough fibrous tissue and even start to form calcium deposits.
Peyronie’s Disease can be generally mild and can reach a point where it will stop progressing and a man can have some respite after 6 to 18 months. But in very advanced cases, it can prevent the man from being able to have any kind of sex life.
Doctors usually advise against any non-surgical treatments as they are not believed to be that effective. Surgery can be performed after a few years once the disease has taken hold and the penis is so deformed that he can no longer have intercourse.
Some non-surgical treatments although unproven are:
- Para-aminobenzoate tablets
- Vitamin E tablets
- Radiation therapy. – This can relieve the pain but has no real effect on the Plaque itself.
- Injections of Chemicals such as Dimethyl Silfoxide, Steroids and Calcium channel blockers directly in the plaques.
As far as surgery is concerned the three most popular surgeries are:
The ‘Lue’ Procedure. Removal of the plaque then followed by placement of a patch of skin or artificial material. This has a high rate of complications and causes a loss of erectile function and prevents the penis from becoming rigid.
The ‘Nesbit’ procedure. This is removal or pinching of tissue from the opposite side of the penis to the plaque which can balance out the bending effect. This shortens the penis when it is erect.
A device can also be implanted into the penis to cause rigidity. Sometimes an implant will be enough to straighten the penis enough to provide a satisfactory result, other times, implantation is combined with a selection of incisions, grafting or plication (pinching or folding the skin).
There are alternative methods to relieving the problems encountered by sufferers of peyronies disease, these can include special penis exercises and medically approved penis traction devices. it is the latter that have actually proved to be most effective of all the above treatments