Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Peyronie’s Disease
There’s no denying Peyronie’s disease can be embarrassing, and make you feel like it’s controlling your life. From penile deformity to erectile pain, Peyronie’s disease can take a toll on a man’s self confidence in the bedroom, and in life in general. While there are quite a few surgical treatments for Peyronie’s disease, some patients may be looking for less invasive options. Continue reading to learn the options available for non-surgical treatment for peyronie’s disease
What is Peyronie’s Disease?
Peyronie’s disease (PD) is a condition in which fibrous scar tissue, often referred to as plaque, develops inside the penis, causing abnormal curvature. It may result in the loss of length or girth, and cause painful erections. According to the Urology Care Foundation, about four in 100 men between the ages of 40 and 70 have Peyronie’s disease. However, that estimated number may be higher because men may be embarrassed and ultimately choose not to seek treatment.
This condition often goes undiagnosed, as most men will assume they are dealing with erectile dysfunction, and seek treatment for that, rather than Peyronie’s disease.
What Causes Peyronie’s Disease?
Peyronie’s disease generally caused by repeated injury to the penis, whether that be from sexual intercourse or physical activity. When penile trauma occurs, your body tries to heal the wound by creating scar tissue. This ultimately causes penile deformity.
Symptoms of Peyronie’s Disease
Peyronie’s disease signs and symptoms may appear suddenly or develop gradually. The most common symptom of Peyronie’s disease are:
- Scar tissue: The scar tissue associated with Peyronie’s disease can be felt under the skin of the penis as flat lumps or a band of hard tissue.
- Significant bend to the penis: Your penis might be curved upward, downward or bent to one side. In some cases, the erect penis might have narrowing, indentations or an hourglass appearance.
- Erection problems: Peyronie’s disease might cause problems getting or maintaining an erection, also known as erectile dysfunction.
- Shortening of the penis: Your penis might become shorter as a result of Peyronie’s disease.
- Penile Pain: You may have penile pain, with or without an erection.
What are the Typical Surgical Options for Peyronie’s Disease?
There are several surgical options to treat Peyronie’s disease. These options vary from less invasive, to more invasive, but are all very effective in treating PD. Surgical options include:
- Plication: Stitches are placed on the long side of the penis in order to pull the penis to the middle.
- Grafting: Incision is made on the short side of the penis and a graft is placed to match the long side.
- Penile Prosthesis: A prosthesis is placed to help with erection and straighten the penis.
Non-Surgical Options for Peyronie’s Disease
There are several non-surgical options when it comes to treating Peyronie’s disease. These non-invasive treatments include pills, injectables, and therapies to improve penile curvature and discomfort associated with PD.
Two pills used to treat Peyronie’s disease are Pentoxifylline and Potaba. Pentoxifylline is often the first medication doctors prescribe to patients. It works to increase blood flow to the penis in order to prevent penile scar tissue. Pentoxifylline has also successfully been used to treat other fibrotic disorders. On the other hand, Potaba (Potassium para-aminobenzoate) works to reduce scar tissue inside the penis by softening the skin.
Although you have to take the pills for an extended amount of time to notice the results, they are a great non-surgical treatment for peyronie’s disease. Especially for people who want to avoid surgery altogether.
Possible Side Effects
- Pentoxifylline: If taking Pentoxifylline, patients may experience nausea, vomiting, gas, bloating, diarrhea, or dizziness.
- Potaba: While taking Potaba, patients may experience nausea, loss of appetite, fever, chills, sore throat, headache, or dizziness.
If both oral medications have proven unsuccessful, your doctor may suggest an injection of Verapamil or Xiaflex directly into the penis. Both of these injections are used to decrease inflammation and break down scar tissue, however, they appear to work best for men with less calcified Peyronie’s plaques. Additionally, both Verapamil and Xiaflex lead to improvement rather than complete resolution of penile curvature.
Possible Side Effects
- Verapamil: Typically causes few to no side effects. Occasionally a small, bruise-like, spot can appear on the site of the injection. However, it should go away on its own in a week or two.
- Xiaflex: May cause more pronounced swelling around the penis; it can also cause more noticeable “bruises” on the penis, and also the scrotum. However, it usually disappears on its own within one to two weeks.
If none of the above solutions work for your Peyronie’s disease, your doctor may suggest trying different therapies. For example, shockwave therapy. In this approach, your doctor will use a small device to apply electromagnetic pulses to the affected area of your penis. These pulses reduce plaque and restore some of the curvature to your penis. Additionally, shockwave therapy helps relieve pain caused from Peyronie’s disease.
Another therapy used to treat Peyronie’s disease is referred to as penile traction. While there are many penile traction devices on the market, Restorex is the only FDA approved treatment. This form of therapy works by using an external device to stretch the penis over the course of a few months.
Possible Side Effects
- Shockwave therapy: May cause swelling, pain, numbness, or tingling in the treated area.
- Penile Traction: The most commonly reported side effects include skin irritation, bruising, discoloration of the skin, and itching.
Treating Peyronie’s Disease at USOC
If you’ve been wondering about non-surgical treatment for peyronie’s disease, we hope that this blog can serve as a helpful resource as you begin your research. Experiencing Peyronie’s disease can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. But, the good news is that there are effective, non-invasive, treatments that can help relieve your symptoms.
To take the first step to relieve your PD symptoms, contact our office to get in touch with one of our incredible urologists today. They will go over various treatment options with you to ensure the best course of action, and get you on the road to recovery as soon as possible. Use the button below to schedule an appointment!