How is Peyronie’s disease treated?

Mild bending of the penis caused by Peyronie’s disease usually does not need to be treated. Since the condition improves on its own in some men, doctors often recommend waiting one year before having surgery.

Surgery may be helpful only in cases where there is severe bending of the penis that may keep a man from having sexual intercourse. There are two procedures for men who have Peyronie’s disease: plication and plaque removal. (When it is erect, the penis has a “long side” and a “short side” caused by the curvature.)

Plication

In a plication procedure, the doctor shortens the long side of the erect penis by operating on the opposite side from where the scar or plaque is located. The procedure straightens the penis and allows the man to keep an erection, but it does cause the erection to be a little shorter.

This procedure is done on an outpatient basis (the patient goes home the same day), and the doctor does not remove any skin. Plication is successful more than 90 percent of the time.

Plaque/scar tissue removal

In this procedure, the doctor removes plaque or scar tissue to allow the short side of the penis to expand and become straight. This procedure is usually done in men who have very severe bending of the erection.

After removing the plaque, the surgeon fills in the gap in the erectile chambers with a graft, which may be collected from somewhere else on the patient’s body, or obtained from a commercial source.

This procedure is successful in 75 percent of cases. It will help preserve the length of the erection, but the erection will not be as long as it was before the Peyronie’s disease.

There is a greater risk of side effects with this procedure, including:

  • Weak erection or erectile dysfunction that may require pills or a penile implant
  • A temporary change in sensation (feeling) in the penis
  • Alonger recovery period after the operation

Since Peyronie’s disease affects each man differently, you should talk to your doctor about the treatment that is right for you.

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