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Peyronie's disease is
an abnormal curvature of the penis caused by scar tissue in the erectile
tissue. Because the scar tissue prevents straightening of the penis, the
curvature is most obvious during an erection. The curvature may be so severe
that it prevents penetration during intercourse.
Peyronie's disease usually affects men who are 50 and older.
Although the exact
cause of Peyronie's disease is unknown, some experts believe the scarring is
caused by injury to the penis (such as being bent or hit).
Peyronie's disease is not caused by cancer and does not increase the risk
of cancer. It is not caused by
sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Symptoms of Peyronie's
disease may develop slowly or suddenly. Common symptoms include:
Peyronie's disease is usually divided into two stages:
disease is usually diagnosed using a medical history and physical exam.
Your doctor will ask you questions about when you first noticed your symptoms
and whether the symptoms were gradual or sudden. This will help determine which
stage of Peyronie's disease you are experiencing.
of Peyronie's disease are usually most noticeable when the penis is erect, your
doctor may ask you to take a photograph of your penis while it is erect. Other
tests that may be ordered include:
Peyronie's disease rarely gets better on its own. But treatment usually is not
needed unless Peyronie's disease causes pain or interferes with sexual
Most men are able to remain sexually active. Counseling can help couples
maintain an active sexual life.
Although there is no standard
treatment for Peyronie's disease, vitamin E or medicines such as carnitine, colchicine, or verapamil may help treat
pain and reduce curvature during an erection. But the use of medicines has shown only
limited success, and none are well studied for the treatment of Peyronie's
Surgery is considered for men
who have severe pain, a severely curved penis, or sexual dysfunction related to
Peyronie's disease. Surgical options include removing the scar tissue or
shortening the unaffected side of the penis (plication). In some cases, use of
a penile prosthesis may be used to help keep an erection during
The National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information
Clearinghouse (NKUDIC) provides information about diseases of the
kidneys and urologic system to people with these problems and to
their families, to health professionals, and to the public. NKUDIC answers
inquiries; develops, reviews, and distributes publications; and works closely
with professional and patient groups and government agencies to
coordinate resources about kidney and urologic diseases.
NKUDIC, a federal agency, is a service of the National
Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). NIDDK is part
of the National Institutes of Health under the U.S. Department of Health and
Jordan GH, McCammon KA (2012). Peyronie's disease. In AJ Wein et al., eds., Campbell-Walsh Urology, 10th ed., vol. 1, pp. 792–809. Philadelphia: Saunders.
Other Works Consulted
McAninch JW (2008). Disorders of the penis and male
urethra. In EA Tanagho, JW McAninch, eds., Smith's General Urology, 17th ed., pp. 625–637. New York: McGraw-Hill
September 7, 2012
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Christopher G. Wood, MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology
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