Peyronie's disease is a noncancerous condition caused by fibrous scar tissue on the penis that causes painful curved erections. Penises vary in size and shape, and a curved erection isn't necessarily concerning. However, Peyronie's disease can cause significant pain or bend in some men.
Erectile dysfunction can prevent you from having sex or make it difficult to get or maintain an erection. Stress and anxiety are also common symptoms of Peyronie's disease in men. Penile shortening is another common concern.
Peyronie's disease rarely goes away on its own. In most men with Peyronie's disease, the condition will remain as is or worsen. Early treatment may keep it from deteriorating or improving symptoms soon after developing the disorder. Even if you've had the condition for some time, treatment may help improve bothersome symptoms, such as pain, curvature, and penile shortening.
Peyronie's disease signs and symptoms might appear suddenly or develop gradually. The most common signs and symptoms include:
- Scar tissue. The scar tissue associated with Peyronie's disease — called plaque but distinct from plaque that builds up in blood vessels — is felt under the skin of the penis as flat lumps or a band of hard tissue.
- A significant bend to the penis. Your penis might curve upward or downward or bend to one side.
- Erection problems. Peyronie's disease may cause erectile dysfunction (ED). But, often, men report erectile dysfunction before the beginning of Peyronie's disease symptoms.
- Shortening of the penis. Your penis might become shorter as a result of Peyronie's disease.
- Pain. You might have penile pain, with or without an erection.
- Another penile deformity. In some men with Peyronie's disease, the erect penis might have narrowing, indentations, or even an hourglass-like appearance, with a tight, narrow band around the shaft.
With Peyronie's disease, curvature and penile shortening may gradually worsen. After about three to twelve months, the condition usually stabilizes.
Pain during erections usually improves within one to two years, but the scar tissue, penile shortening, and curvature often remain. In some men, the curvature and pain associated with Peyronie's disease improve without treatment.
Light Therapy for Peyronie's Disease
Using light in the wavelength of 830 nm to treat patients with symptomatic has shown benefits for Peyronie's disease. All patients entered into the study had a condition consisting of a well-defined fibrous plaque-causing pain and curvature of the penile shaft on the erection that interfered with satisfactory sexual intercourse. Treatment has consisted of 30 mW administered over a duty cycle of 100 seconds (3 J), beginning at the base of the penis and extending to the coronal sulcus over the dorsum of the penis at 0.5 cm intervals. An additional duty cycle of 100 seconds was delivered to each 0.5 cm of palpable plaque. The therapy's ability to reduce the fibrous plaque size, the severity of the penile curvature, and the severity of pain associated with penile erection and the treatment's effect on the patient's quality of life were assessed for each patient after therapy and six weeks later.