If you suffer from Peyronie’s disease, know that you are far from alone. This condition, characterized by a bent erection, may not be readily discussed among men in the locker room or at the office, yet it affects six out of 100 males, most commonly between 40 and 70.
Peyronie’s disease can also make erections painful, render sexual intercourse difficult, lead to erectile dysfunction, and cause a shortening of the penis or other penile deformities such as narrowing, indentations, and an hourglass-like appearance. Of course, those are just the physical symptoms. The emotional toll is paramount, as well. Some men notice symptoms suddenly; for others, they may emerge gradually over time.
Urologist Dr. William Brant understands that this issue may be challenging to discuss, but as a specialist in sexual and erectile medicine, he has helped countless men recover from Peyronie’s disease and reclaim healthy sex lives. To start the conversation, he offers the following overview.
Why is my erection bent?
The causes of Peyronie’s disease aren’t entirely understood. Some researchers believe it is a genetic disorder, while others think it is an autoimmune disorder. Among the most common theories is the result of a previous injury that caused internal bleeding in the penis. Even if the injury wasn’t severe enough to have caused significant pain, scar tissue built up in the tissue as it healed. During an erection, when the penis stretches, the scar tissue doesn’t stretch with it, which results in the curvature.
Diagnosing Peyronie’s disease
A physical exam is often enough to identify scar tissue in the penis and diagnose Peyronie’s disease. An ultrasound might also be ordered. Before testing, you’ll likely receive an injection directly into the penis that causes it to become erect. Ultrasound tests use sound waves to produce images of soft tissues.
Treatment recommendations depend on how long you’ve had symptoms and severity. First-line approaches include:
- Penile traction therapy to stretch the penis
- Vacuum devices
If your curvature is acute or prevents you from having sex, Dr. Brant may recommend one of the following surgical solutions.
Stitches are placed along the longer side of your penis to pull it toward a more neutral position. This is an outpatient procedure that takes about an hour, but you’ll need to rest the remainder of the day. Sexual intercourse can typically be resumed within five weeks. This procedure, however, can’t correct either indentation or hourglass deformities.
This surgery requires Dr. Brant to make one or more cuts in the scar tissue, allowing the sheath to stretch out and straighten the penis. He may also remove some of the scar tissue. A piece of tissue, called a graft, may be sewn into place to cover the tunica albuginea holes. This surgery, generally used in men with more-severe curvatures, is also an outpatient procedure. It takes three to four hours and requires several days rest afterward. Sexual intercourse can be resumed in about eight weeks.
A prosthesis is surgically placed inside the penis to straighten it and improve erections. This procedure takes up to 90 minutes and requires about four weeks of downtime. Sexual intercourse can be resumed within five to six weeks.
Schedule a Peyronie’s Disease Consultation with Dr. Brant Today
Don’t ignore a painful and or bent erection. You can resume a healthy sex life with the proper diagnosis and treatment from Dr. Brant. To schedule a consultation, call the office at 801-207-7922, or request an appointment online.