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

A deviation of the rod. 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 care remains complex.

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

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

What is the cause of this disease?

“The most likely cause is a minimal trauma that has gone more or less unnoticed to the envelope of the corpora cavernosa 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. In addition, a predisposing genetic background and certain factors such as diabetes or smoking can also promote or aggravate the disease.

How does it arise?

This disease appears slowly, and settles over several months, in two phases: a phase of appearance 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 often”, indicates the CHU of Nantes.

How to treat it?

First of all, it is important to indicate that “the management of this pathology is complex and therefore requires the use of a specialized andrology consultation as soon as the diagnosis is suspected”, insists the Nantes University Hospital.

If the care 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”. The relief of pain can go through the use of extracorporeal lithotripsy. It is then a question of delivering waves of electroshocks specifically at the level of the fibrosis plaque, in order to fragment it and therefore limit its development in order to soothe the pain.

Can the deformation of the penis be reduced?

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

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