Peyronie's Disease Treatment
Symptoms and Treatments for Peyronie's Disease
Plaque or hard lumps that form in the soft tissue of the penis characterizes Peyronie's Disease. The plaque may develop on any side of the penis in layers containing erectile tissue which can cause pain, abnormal curvature, shortening and erectile dysfunction. Approximately 10% of males are affected by Peyronie's Disease.
Symptoms of Peyronie's Disease
Early stages of Peyronie's disease are characterized by painful and weak erections or difficult ejaculations caused by an inflammation which can develop into a hardened scar. Cases can range from mild to severe, and symptoms may develop slowly or appear overnight. In many cases, the pain may decrease over time, but the bend in the penis may remain a problem, making sexual intercourse difficult. If symptoms are persistent or get worse over a period of time, it is recommended that you should see a specialist. Dr. Bastuba offers patients a thorough examination covering medical history, a physical examination and diagnosis.
Surgical Treatment of Peyronie's Disease
Peyronie's disease has been treated with varying success using medical means. If medical agents fail, or a quick resolution is desired, two surgical approaches are available: One method includes removal or expansion of the plaque followed by a placement of a patch of skin or artificial material. The other involves pinching tissue from the side of the penis opposite the plaque, which neutralizes the bending effect. Both procedures lead to a straightened penis. When erectile dysfunction occurs in association with Peyronie's Disease, the gold standard of therapy is a penile implant.
Intralesional Verapamil Injection Treatment
This technique is currently the most popular and is considered the state-of-the-art therapy for non-calcified penal plaques. It does not involve surgery but rather is an office procedure whereby verapamil is injected into the plaque after the penis is put to sleep. An ultrasound is performed first to make sure that the plaques are not calcified. If the plaques are calcified, it is less likely to respond to verapamil. The verapamil theoretically works by activating the body’s own system to break down scarring which involves collagenase. Typically, a series of six injections are initially administered on an every-other-week basis. The largest study of this treatment for Peyronie's Disease involved nearly 40 patients with 76% reporting a subjective decrease in curvature, 9.5% reporting an increase in curvature, and 14.5% remaining unchanged. Of the treated patients, 72% reported an improvement in the ability to engage intercourse . The study was published out of Rush University.
Other upcoming methods, that have not been approved for use yet in this country, includes the use of shockwave therapy on calcified plaques.