Peyronie’s disease is a connective tissue condition that affects the penis. It occurs as a result of a scar tissue, also known as plaque, that develops inside the penis. This disease can cause the penis to bend, straight, or erect. This connective tissue disorder forms in the tunica albuginea, a thick sheath, that covers the corpora cavernosa. This causes discomfort, and also an abnormal curvature in the patient. Patients might also develop erectile dysfunction, indentation, loss of girth and shortening. The curvature that occurs in this disease might worsen progressively if not well managed. However, it stabilizes at some point. The pain experienced by patients might improve between the range of one to two years, although the scar tissue and curvature still remain. The mild forms of this disease don’t require treatment, as they tend to go after some time. However, there are forms of Peyronie’s disease that causes a lot of discomfort to the patient. Shockwave therapy is one of the ways of treating this disease.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Peyronie’s Disease?

The signs and symptoms of this disease might develop suddenly or gradually. Below are some of the signs and symptoms of the disease;

  • Scar tissue: Scar tissues develop in Peyronie’s disease. These tissues can usually be felt beneath the skin of the penis. The present can either present as flat lumps, or as a band of hard tissues.
  • The curvature of the penis: The penis of the patient might curve upwards, downward, or even to the side. The erect penis might also present develop narrowing, or an hour-glass appearance, with a narrow band around the shaft of the penis.
  • Erectile dysfunction: Individuals affected with this disease might present with erection problems. They might also have difficulty maintaining an erection.
  • Shortening of the penis: Patients affected by this disease might develop a shorter penis.
  • Pain: Patients affected by this disease do experience pain and discomfort in their penis.

What Are The Causes Of Peyronie’s Disease?

The exact cause of this disease isn’t completely understood yet. However, some factors have been identified to be responsible for the development of this disease.

  • Injury: The penis might be injured during activities, such as physical, sexual or accidents.
  • Development of nodules: This tends to occur during the healing process especially after an injury. This happens when the scar tissue develops in a disorganized manner, which might eventually lead to the formation of nodules in the penis.

Blood flows to the chambers and vessels of the penis. The penis enlarges, straightens and becomes rigid, as this occurs. A patient that has developed scar tissues or nodules will have a disfigured penis. This might also come with pain.

What Are The Risk Factors Of Peyronie’s Disease?

Apart from injuries, there are other factors that could lead to the development of Peyronie’s disease. However, it’s important to know that minor injuries to the penis don’t always lead to Peyronie’s disease. Factors such as poor wound healing, the accumulation of scar tissues, also play important roles in the development of this disease. Below are the other risk factors associated with Peyronie’s disease;

  • Heredity: Studies have shown that those that have relatives affected by this disease have a high risk of also developing Peyronie’s
  • Age: The chances of developing this disease increases with age. This has been noted to be prevalent in men that are above the age of 55.
  • Connective tissue disorders: Men that have connective tissue disorders tend to have an increased risk of developing Peyronie’s As an illustration, a good percentage of men that has the Peyronie’s disease also have cord-like thickening across the palm, which causes the fingers to pull inward. This condition is also known as Dupuytren’s contracture.
  • Smoking: Studies have also shown that smoking increases the risk of developing Peyronie’s
  • Previous surgery: Men that have undergone previous procedures, such as prostate surgery, have a high risk of developing the disease.

What Are The Complications Of Peyronie’s Disease?

Peyronie’s disease does have some complications, especially when the disease isn’t well managed.

  • Erectile dysfunction: Individuals affected with this disease might present with erection problems. They might also have difficulty maintaining an erection. This would render them unable to have sexual intercourse, which would eventually affect the relationship they have with their partner.
  • Loss of self-esteem: Men affected by this disease would develop low self-esteem. This is because of their inability to satisfy their sexual partners.
  • Inability to father a child: This is one of the most depressing occurrences that could happen to a man, especially when the man desires to have kids of his own. Not being able to have sexual intercourse, and father a child could be frustrating.
  • Strain in relationships: Not being able to satisfy your partner sexually, would strain the relationship.
  • Pain: Patients affected by this disease do experience pain and discomfort in their penis.

How Do Physicians Diagnose Peyronie’s Disease?

Physicians diagnose this disease by taking the medical history of the patient. This also performs a physical examination of the patient. The doctor would feel the hardened tissue, during this examination. If the penis has to be erect during the examination, the physician would inject medications that would cause this to happen. Physicians might also carry out a medical imaging test of the penis. This includes X-ray or ultrasound of the penis. Lastly, physicians might also take a biopsy of the penis. They do this by taking a sample of the tissue from the affected area of the penis.

How Is Peyronie’s Disease Treated?

Peyronie’s disease can be treated. However, there have been a lot of cases that resolved without any form of treatment. This is why physicians tend to wait for about 12 to 24 months before trying to correcting the disorder. The mild forms of this disease don’t need any intervention. Although, treatment is needed when the patient complains of pain, and cannot perform sexually.

What Are The Common Treatments Available?

Physicians generally administer medications or surgery. Examples of drugs prescribed by doctors include pentoxifylline or potassium paraminobenzoate. In case these drugs don’t work, physicians might also administer verapamil or collagenase into the scar tissues of the penis. On the other hand, some common operations carried out by doctors include;

  • Removal of the plaque, and replacing it with a tissue graft.
  • Removal of the tissue on the side of the penis, opposite the plaque. This eliminates the bending effect of the disease.


Bell, D. (2008). Peyronie Disease in Association with Carvedilol: A Case Report. Southern Medical Journal, 101(11), 1157-1158. doi: 10.1097/smj.0b013e3181831441

Groth, T., & Monga, M. (2003). EXTRACORPOREAL SHOCKWAVE THERAPY FOR PEYRONIE DISEASE. Archives Of Andrology, 49(3), 205-213. doi: 10.1080/713828135

Kelâmi, A. (1980). Peyronie disease and surgical treatment. Urology, 15(6), 559-561. doi: 10.1016/0090-4295(80)90365-9