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Peyronie’s Disease

Get Exceptional Peyronie’s Disease Treatment From TUCC

Comfort is one of the most critical factors for a healthy sex life—and Peyronie’s Disease can rob men of that comfort.

Still, we can successfully treat Peyronie’s disease, and in many cases that treatment won’t require surgery. In fact, for most men impacted by Peyronie’s disease, the injury will heal over time (between 6 and 18 months) with minimal medical intervention.

You’re in good hands at TUCC.

Whether or not surgery is necessary, you’re in good hands with TUCC’s exceptional providers.

Our expert physicians perform microsurgical Peyronie’s disease treatments at our state-of-the-art surgical center, and we’re on the cutting edge of non-surgical treatments.

In fact, TUCC served as a clinical trial site for Auxilium Pharmaceuticals’ late-stage Xiaflex study, which today is the first FDA-approved drug designed specifically to treat Peyronie’s Disease.

No matter the severity of your condition, we are here to help.

Dr. Richard Heppe

Dr. Heppe was recognized as a 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 Top Doc by 5280 Magazine in the category of reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Click here to learn more.

What is Peyronie’s Disease?

Also known as Penile Curvature or Curved Penis, Peyronie’s Disease (named after François de la Peyronie, surgeon to King Louis XV of France) is the hardening of tissue (fibrosis) in the penis.

A lump or plaque (scar tissue) forms on the erectile tissue lining. This lining holds much of the blood in the penis during erection.

In most cases, you can feel a hard lump at the point where the penis curves. The hardened area or plaque prevents regular stretching and can affect the size and shape of the erect penis. In severe cases, the plaque can include the muscle and arteries of the penis leading to erectile problems.

Causes of Peyronie’s Disease

The exact causes of Peyronie’s Disease are somewhat unclear, but for some men, plaque develops following a trauma or injury that causes bleeding inside the penis.

And though the trauma may not be noticeable at the time, it could still lead to an occurrence of Peyronie’s Disease. In addition, the disease could be genetically linked or inherited.

A pre-existing problem with the immune system or diabetes could explain why some men develop Peyronie’s Disease after a superficial injury to the penis while others recover from the same injury without issue. 

Peyronie’s Disease Symptoms

The penis may curve, indent (forming an hourglass shape), or become shorter following a trauma. These changes in the shape of your penis could make it difficult, impossible, or even painful to engage in sexual intercourse.

Peyronie’s Disease Diagnosis

A general practitioner can usually diagnose Peyronie’s Disease based on medical history and physical examination.

Lumps can often be seen and felt when the penis is flaccid (not erect). However, the penis needs to be erect for the doctor to see how much it is bending.

To avoid having an erection while in the doctor’s office and help diagnose the condition, your doctor might suggest you take a photo of your erect penis at home.

Peyronie's Disease Stages

Peyronie’s disease typically occurs in two phases—the acute (active) phase and the chronic (stable) phase.

Acute (Active) Phase
The first phase often resolves within one year but can last up to 18 months.

This is when most of the changes in the penis happen. Plaques form, causing irregularities in the shape of the erect penis. As plaques develop, curvature often worsens, and erections can become painful.

Early in the acute phase, pain may happen without an erection, caused by inflammation in the area of the developing plaques. Once the scar is formed, pain may be caused by tension on the plaques during erection.

Chronic (Stable) Phase
The second phase—the chronic or stable phase—usually begins within 12-18 months after symptoms appear. During this phase, the main signs of the condition (plaque and curvature) become stable and probably won’t get worse. However, they are also not likely to improve.

Penile pain often lessens or goes away during the chronic phase, but erectile dysfunction (ED) may develop or worsen.

Peyronie’s Disease Treatments

Your urologists might opt to treat the condition without surgery while Peyronie’s Disease is in the early or active phase. Men with small plaques, not much curvature, no pain, and no problems with sex may not need treatment at all.

As a TUCC patient, you have options.

Your urologists might opt to treat the condition without surgery while Peyronie’s Disease is in the early or active phase. Men with small plaques, not much curvature, no pain, and no problems with sex may not need treatment at all.

  • Penile Injections
    Injection is ideal for men in the acute phase or for those unsure if surgery is suitable. Penile injections include:

  • Collagenase injections: Used to break down specific tissues and are now FDA-approved in the U.S. for men with a dorsal (upward) or lateral curvature of more than 30 degrees

  • Verapamil injections: Used to treat high blood pressure, but some studies show that it may be a good, low-cost choice for penile pain and curvature

  • Interferon injections: Used to help control scarring. Interferon can slow down the rate that scar tissue builds and make an enzyme that breaks down the scar tissue

Surgery

Surgery could be the right choice for any man with severe Peyronie’s Disease finding it difficult or painful to have sex. However, most doctors suggest waiting at least a year before considering surgery.

There are three surgeries to help men with Peyronie’s Disease:

  • Plication surgery: Makes the side of the penis opposite the plaque shorter

  • Incision and graft surgery: This makes the side of the penis with plaque longer

  • Penile implant surgery: Straightens the penis with a prosthetic device. This could be a viable choice for men with Peyronie’s disease and ED.
    It’s important to remember that for most men, the injury will heal over time. Still, that could take up to 18 months, and in some cases, your urologist may prescribe channel blockers to decrease disease-related pain.

Experience and efficiency you can trust.

Streamlined Process
When men experience Peyronie’s disease, they want fast, discrete, and passionate care. At The Urology Center of Colorado (TUCC), we provide streamlined and exceptional care, give you quick answers, and avoid delays.

Experience and Expertise Matter
We know what we’re doing. Every year, we treat thousands of men experiencing Peyronie’s disease. Plus, TUCC is nationally recognized for its urology research programs.

We Support and Respect Our Patients
We are second to none when it comes to a positive patient experience. TUCC doctors, advanced practice providers, and clinical specialists work closely to deliver a thoughtful experience. We consider you an integral part of your care team and respect your voice and choices.

Patient Stories

Hear from TUCC patients about their experiences receiving expert care from our compassionate providers and support teams.

Peyronie’s Disease FAQs

While the lumps associated with Peyronie’s Disease are benign (non-cancerous), erections and regular sexual activity can be more difficult. Peyronie’s Disease can significantly affect emotional, physical, and overall health.

Some men with Peyronie’s Disease could experience symptoms of depression. Talking with a therapist or counselor may help with depression, anxiety, and intimacy. Ask your urologist if they can suggest a therapist.

Penile cancer symptoms are very different from Peyronie’s disease symptoms.

Symptoms of penile cancer generally start with bleeding and unusual discharge under the foreskin or on the shaft of the penis. A general practitioner should check any penile lumps, cysts, bleeding, or unusual discharge.

Ultrasounds show the location, size, and depth of the plaque (hardened area of scar tissue) and check how the blood flows in the penis.

It will also show any calcification (calcium deposits). Calcification usually means the condition has run its entire course, and the lump is not likely to get better (end-stage disease). This is useful to know when planning treatment.

The choice of surgery type is typically based on the following:

  • The man’s ability to get and maintain an erection
  • The existing length of the penis
  • The degree of the bend or curve of the penis or the presence of an hourglass deformity

Plication applies stitches to the penis lining. This is done on the side opposite the bend to straighten the penis. It is a simple operation with few side effects.

However, the non-affected side is made shorter to straighten the penis. This method is ideal for men with normal erectile function, a slight bend or curvature, and little-to-no pain.

Incision/excision of the scar and grafting is sometimes done in more severe cases of Peyronie’s Disease. In this method, there’s a cut made to the scar tissue to release the penis to return to its original length. The opened area is then grafted (patched).

A penile implant can help men with Peyronie’s Disease and erectile dysfunction. Sometimes an implant alone will straighten the penis. However, the plaque will often need to be removed and grafted before the implant is put in to fix the problem completely.

Non-surgical treatments for Peyronie’s Disease include oral medicines, injections, shock wave treatments, and penile traction (extender) devices.

Non-surgical treatments work better in men with Peyronie’s Disease for less than six months and men with pain and a smaller curve in the penis.

We’re here to help.

For appointments at any TUCC location, request an appointment online.