Also known as CITA (Chronic Inflammation of the Tunica Albuginea), Peyronie’s disease affects the connective tissue in the penis and forms scar tissue causing pain, abnormal curvature, erectile dysfunction. Statistics indicate that Peyronie’s disease occurs in about six out of 100 men between the ages of 40 and 70. It can occur, rarely, in younger men.
Causes of Peyronie’s disease
Peyronie’s disease is most often caused by minor trauma to the penis. However, researchers also believe that Peyronie’s disease may have genetic or environmental contributors as well. Men who have a close family member who has experienced Peyronie’s disease are more likely to develop the condition. Men with high blood sugar or diabetes, who use tobacco, or who have had past pelvic-area trauma also are at higher risk of developing Peyronie’s disease.
Peyronie’s disease can be diagnosed through physical exam and ultrasound images of the erect penis.
Treating Peyronie’s Disease
The good news is that Peyronie’s Disease can resolve on its own. Waiting a year to see if symptoms resolve on their own is suggested before contemplating surgery. Surgery may be recommended if the symptoms do not resolve after a year.
The specialists at Arizona Urology Specialists offer the most effective surgical procedures for Peyronie’s disease, including:
- Suturing (plicating) the unaffected side. A variety of procedures can be used to suture the side of the penis that does not have scar tissue. Suturing straightens the penis, although it may result in actual or perceived shortening.
- Incision or excision and grafting. With this type of surgery, the surgeon makes one or more cuts in the scar tissue, allowing the sheath to stretch out and the penis to straighten. The surgeon then may remove some of the scar tissue, and sew tissue into place to cover the surgical area. This procedure is generally used in cases of severe curvature or deformity. Side effects may include erectile dysfunction.
- Penile implants. Penile implants, also called penile prostheses, are an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction, but they can also be used to treat Peyronie’s disease. Surgically inserted implants replace the spongy tissue that fills with blood during an erection. The implants might be semirigid — manually bent down most of the time and bent upward for sexual intercourse. Another type of implant is inflated with a pump implanted in the scrotum. If the implant alone is not completely effective, it may be combined with tissue grafting. Learn more about the benefits of penile implants, including invisibility, permanence, and high patient satisfaction.
Although research overall has been inconclusive, some patients report symptom relief from medications including vitamin E supplements, potassium amino-benzoate (sold under the name Potaba); and an anti-swelling agent called colchicine.