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

A deviation of the pole. This is how Peyronie’s disease is mainly characterized. A pathology that can cause pain and provoke an obstruction in intimate life. Especially since the maintenance remains expensive.

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

“Although deformity is the most common symptom, other symptoms can also occur, including narrowing (strangulation), pain in the penis, lack of rigidity of all or part of the penis, and palpation of nodules here,” the center continues.

What is the cause of this disease?

“The most likely cause is a more or less unnoticed minimal trauma to the shell of the cavernous bodies 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 condition primarily affects men over 50, suggesting that age is a risk factor. In addition, a predisposing genetic predisposition and certain factors such as diabetes or smoking can also promote or worsen the disease.

How is it formed?

This disease occurs slowly and continues in two phases for several months: a phase of the appearance of pain and deformation of the penis. “Then comes the phase of stability, during which the curvature is fixed and no longer develops. The pain then usually disappears,” states the Nantes CHU.

how to treat it

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

If treatment is started from the onset of the disease, “the urologist may prescribe drug treatment with vitamins and vasodilators to slow down the development of the curvature.” Pain relief can be achieved through the use of extracorporeal lithotripsy. It is then a question of delivering electric shock waves specifically at the level of the fibrotic plaque in order to fragment it and thus limit its development in order to relieve the pain.

Can the deformation of the penis be reduced?

  • Traction therapy, used when the penis is at rest, can limit or even decrease penile angulation. A special device is required to carry out this therapy;
  • Depending on the curvature, surgical treatments can be considered. The so-called Nesbit or plication treatment, indicated for moderate curvatures, “consists first of all in shortening the part of the corpus cavernosum opposite to the curvature in order to compensate for the length of the corpus cavernosum and thus straighten the penis”, specifies the Nantes University Hospital. For example, complex curvatures or those associated with hourglass deformities require treatment by incision with a graft.

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