When scar tissue builds up in your penis, it can cause it to bend, curve or even get shorter. This common condition is called Peyronie’s disease. A curved penis usually isn't serious, but it can affect your body image, self-esteem, self-confidence and disrupt your sex life. Getting and keeping an erection can be challenging and intercourse can be painful. It may also cause stress or anxiety for you and your partner.
It’s not unusual to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed talking about Peyronie’s. But having an open, honest conversation with your healthcare provider is the first step toward making things better. There are many treatment options for Peyronie’s disease — with or without surgery — and the experts at Cleveland Clinic will help you find the best treatment for you.
Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for Peyronie's Disease treatment?
Providers from several different specialties will work together to plan your treatment. You care team may include urologists, reconstructive urologic surgeons, radiologists and other men’s health experts. Meet our team.
There are lots of treatment options for Peyronie’s disease — from injection therapy and traction devices to surgery. Your care team will discuss your options with you and help you decide which treatment is best based on your symptoms, personal preferences and goals.
Cleveland Clinic experts have extensive experience with the most complex forms of Peyronie’s disease. Our expertise in advanced genitourinary reconstruction means we can offer procedures that may not be widely available.
Peyronie’s disease is a sensitive topic for many people. At Cleveland Clinic, we understand that talking about this condition might not be easy. We’ll take the time to answer your questions and concerns in a confidential setting. We want you to feel informed and comfortable so you have a positive treatment experience.
We make it easy for you to get the care you need. Many of our healthcare providers offer virtual visits for your first appointment to discuss diagnosis and treatment options. You’ll get one-on-one attention from your provider from the comfort of your own home. You can then schedule an in-person visit to follow up.
U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Cleveland Clinic a top hospital in the nation. Newsweek has also named us a top hospital in the world.
Diagnosing Peyronie’s Disease at Cleveland Clinic
In most cases, your healthcare provider can diagnose Peyronie’s disease with a physical exam and a careful review of your medical and sexual history. We may inject a medication into your penis to cause an erection. This helps us examine the curve or bend in your penis and find areas where scar tissue (plaque) has built up. An ultrasound may be necessary to examine the scar tissue or check the blood flow to your penis.
Who Treat Peyronie's Disease
Peyronie’s Disease Treatment at Cleveland Clinic
If the curve in your penis is mild and isn’t causing you pain or trouble getting or keeping an erection, you may not need treatment. Sometimes Peyronie’s disease goes away on its own. But if the condition is painful and is making sex difficult, we can help. Treatment will depend on how badly your penis is curved, any other symptoms and how long you’ve had the condition.
It’s important to see an experienced urologist as soon as you start having pain and notice changes with your penis. If treated within 12 to 18 months after you first develop symptoms, you might not need surgery. If you wait until the scar tissue is fully developed, surgery will be the best treatment option.
Treating Peyronie’s disease without surgery
Treatments for Peyronie’s disease that don’t require surgery may include:
- Medications: Collagenase injections (Xiaflex®) are the only FDA-approved treatment for Peyronie’s disease. Collagenase is an enzyme that breaks down scar tissue. It can reduce the curve in your penis and improve erections. Other injection therapies include verapamil (a blood pressure medication that may reduce penis pain) or interferon (a protein that can reduce swelling and scar tissue formation). We inject these medications directly into the scar tissue.
- Traction therapy: Your provider may recommend traction (stretch) therapy for early-stage Peyronie’s disease. You wear the traction device at home to stretch the penis, helping it straighten and lengthen over three to six months.
Reconstructive surgery for Peyronie’s disease
Reconstructive surgery may be an option if your Peyronie’s is making it difficult for you to have sex. We only recommend surgery once scar tissue is fully formed, about 12 to 18 months after symptoms start. Our experienced surgeons use various reconstructive surgery techniques, including:
- Penile grafting: A surgeon completely or partially removes the scar tissue from your penis and replaces it with pieces of tissue from somewhere else on your body or from a donor. We may recommend grafting if your penis is significantly curved, shortened or narrowed. This isn’t an option if you also have erectile dysfunction (ED). Penile grafting can make ED worse, or even cause it.
- Penile plication: During penile plication, we cut out or fold tissue on the curved side of your penis and secure it with stitches. Tightening the skin helps straighten your penis. The procedure can make the penis shorter, but it’s less likely than grafting to cause ED.
- Penile implant: If you have a curved penis and ED, your provider might recommend surgical penile implants (penile prostheses). Most implants are inflatable pumps that you can control when you’re ready to have sex. In some cases, we do penile grafting or plication at the same time as the implantation procedure.
Taking the Next Step
You don’t have to be discouraged, frustrated or embarrassed. Having an honest conversation with your healthcare provider about Peyronie’s disease is the only way to get help. Cleveland Clinic experts are ready to provide you with the treatment you need to get past the frustration and back to living life the way you should.
Learn more about how we diagnose and treat Peyronie’s disease at Cleveland Clinic. Call to request an appointment or schedule a virtual visit.
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