Curved penis syndrome: what is Peyronie’s disease, which mainly affects people over 50?

Curved penis syndrome: what is Peyronie's disease, which mainly affects people over 50?

A deviation of the barrel. This is how Peyronie’s disease is mainly characterized. A pathology that can cause pain and induce a disability in intimate life. Especially since the cure remains complex.

François Gigot de Lapeyronie, Louis XV’s surgeon, who first described this deformity of the penis, gave the name to Lapeyronie’s disease. The curvature observed only during erection is “most often dorsal, that is, upward, but it is possible in other directions”, specifies the Lyon Center of Urology Bellecour Mermoz.

“Although deformity is the most common symptom, other symptoms may exist, including narrowing (strangulation), pain in the penis, lack of stiffness in all or part of the penis, and palpation of nodules in the one here,” the Center continues.

What is the cause of this disease?

“The most likely cause is a minimal trauma that went more or less unnoticed to the cavernous envelope with anarchic and inflammatory healing, resulting in an internal fibrous scar,” describes the Center Lyonnais d’Urologie Bellecour Mermoz.

However, it should be noted that the disease mainly affects men over 50, which indicates that age is therefore a risk factor. Furthermore, a predisposing genetic background and certain factors such as diabetes or smoking can also promote or aggravate the disease.

How was it born?

This disease appears slowly and settles over several months, in two phases: a phase of onset of pain and deformation of the penis. “Then comes the phase of stability during which the curvature is fixed and no longer evolves. The pain then ends up disappearing, most of the time”, indicates the CHU of Nantes.

How to treat it?

First, it is important to point out that “the management of this pathology is complex and therefore requires the use of specialized andrological advice as soon as the diagnosis is suspected”, insists the University Hospital of Nantes.

If the treatment is started from the beginning of the disease “the urologist can prescribe a vitamin and vasodilator medicinal treatment in order to slow down the evolution of the curvature”. Pain relief can come through the use of extracorporeal lithotripsy. It is therefore a question of delivering waves of electroshock right at the level of the fibrotic plaque, in order to fragment it and therefore limit its development to relieve pain.

Can the deformation of the penis be reduced?

  • Traction therapy, used when the penis is at rest, can limit or even reduce the angle of the penis. To implement this therapy, a specific device is required;
  • Surgical treatments can be considered depending on the curvature. The so-called Nesbit or plication treatment, indicated for moderate curvatures initially “consists in shortening the part of the corpus cavernosum placed in front of the curvature in order to balance the length of the cavernous bodies and thus straighten the penis”, specifies the hospital University of Nantes. For complex curvatures or associated with hourglass deformities, for example, treatment by graft incision is required.

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