Men's Health Center
Peyronie’s disease is characterized by a plaque, or hard lump, that forms on the erection tissue of the penis. The plaque often begins as an inflammation that may develop into a fibrous tissue.
Peyronie’s disease was first described in 1743 by a French surgeon, François de la Peyronie. It was classified as a form of impotence. However, now impotence is recognized as one factor associated with Peyronie’s disease, but it is not always present.
Some researchers believe Peyronie’s disease develops following a trauma that causes bleeding inside the penis. This trauma may explain acute cases of Peyronie’s disease, but does not explain why most cases develop slowly, or what causes the disease after no apparent traumatic event.
Generally, when the disease heals within a year or so, the plaque does not advance beyond an initial inflammatory phase. However, when the disease lasts for years, the plaque often becomes a tough, fibrous tissue, and calcium deposits may form.
The plaque in Peyronie’s disease is benign, or noncancerous. The following are the most common symptoms of Peyronie’s disease. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently.
Symptoms may include:
The symptoms of Peyronie’s disease may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.
A diagnosis of Peyronie’s disease is usually made when men seek medical attention for painful erections and difficulty with intercourse. In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for Peyronie’s disease may include the following:
Specific treatment for Peyronie’s disease will be determined by your doctor based on:
In general, the goal of treatment is to keep the patient with Peyronie’s disease sexually active. Providing education about the disease and its course is often included in the treatment plan. In some cases, treatment is not necessary, as Peyronie’s disease often occurs in a mild form that heals without treatment in 6 to 15 months. Treatment may include:
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