Peyronie's disease is the development of scar tissue inside the penis that causes penile curvature, circular or hourglass deformity, shortening of the penis, pain with erection and/or difficulty with erection. Most doctors believe Peyronie's disease is caused by repetitive trauma to the penis or, in some cases, genetic factors that cause a scar or plaque to develop, which restricts the elasticity of this area of the penis during erection. Most men with Peyronie's disease cannot identify or recall a traumatic event that precipitated the condition.
Peyronie's disease was once thought to be rare but is now believed to occur in as many as 10% of men. It can be a severe hindrance to healthy sexual functioning and in its most progressive state the curvature of the penis is so severe sexual intercourse is impossible.
At the Columbia University Department of Urology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, we not only evaluate the patient but we also assess the sexual function of the patient and his partner, because pain with intercourse can sometimes arise from a woman's anatomy.
Peyronie's disease can occur in a mild form that heals without treatment in six to 18 months. In these cases, the problem does not progress past the inflammation phase. Diseases in severe cases can be permanent. The hardened plaque reduces flexibility, causing pain and forcing the penis to bend or arc during erection.
In addition to the bending of the penis, Peyronie's disease can cause general pain as well as painful erections. It also can cause emotional distress, and affect a man's desire and ability to function during sex. Medications prescribed for erectile dysfunction such as Viagra 100mg Soft tab are sometimes beneficial for patients in the early stages of Peyronie's disease.
The exact cause of Peyronie's disease is unknown. In people whose disease develops quickly, lasts a short time, and goes away without treatment, the likely cause is trauma (hitting or bending) that causes bleeding inside the penis. However, in some people, Peyronie's disease develops slowly and is severe enough to require surgical treatment. Other possible causes of Peyronie's disease include:
• Vasculitis. This is an inflammation of blood or lymphaticvessels. This inflammation can lead to the formation of scar tissue.
• Connective tissue disorders. According to the National Institutes of Health, about 30% of men with Peyronie's disease also develop disorders that affect the connective tissue in other parts of their bodies, such as the hands and feet. These conditions generally cause a thickening or hardening of the connective tissue. Connective tissue is specialized tissue -- such as cartilage, bone, and skin -- that acts to support other body tissues.
• Heredity. Some studies suggest that a man who has a relative with Peyronie's disease is at greater risk for developing the disease himself.