Peyronie’s disease (PD) is caused by the formation of tough, fibrous scar tissue just under the skin of the penis. This scar tissue can typically be felt as lumps or bands of tight tissue that may become painful. To understand Peyronie’s, it’s helpful to understand the anatomy of your penis.
There is a sponge-like tube on each side of your penis that’s called the corpus cavernosum. This tissue contains numerous tiny blood vessels that fill with blood during an erection. Each of the two corpora cavernosa is encased in elastic tissue called the tunica albuginea that stretches as the blood fills these vessels, which helps to stiffen and shape your penis.
When you have PD, the area with the scar tissue doesn't stretch. This causes the penis to bend or become misshapen, which can cause significant pain during sexual intercourse. A significant curvature may also make it impossible to have sexual intercourse.
Beyond the noticeable scar tissue, you may also experience:
PD symptoms may appear gradually over time or come on suddenly. The curvature does seem to stabilize eventually but may become quite significant before that occurs.
While doctors understand that scar tissue causes the abnormal curvature associated with PD, the reason for the scar tissue formation is not always clear. It may occur after an injury to your penis or be related to other health conditions, such as connective tissue disorders.
Men with PD seem to have an increased incidence of Dupuytren's contracture, a condition that causes thickening of the cord-like structures across the palm which pull your fingers inward. PD is also more prevalent in men over 55.
Treatment depends on the severity and nature of your symptoms. Dr. Coutinho may recommend XIAFLEX® injections to help break down the scar tissue. This therapy is also used to effectively treat Dupuytren's contracture. Otherwise, he may recommend corporal grafting surgery or plication surgery to remove the scarred areas and straighten your penis.
Dr. Karl Coutinho is considered an in-network provider with the following insurance plans. This is not a complete list, if you do not see your plan listed please contact our office to verify your benefits.