Peyronie’s Disease Specialist in Charlotte, NC
Fellowship-trained at the Cleveland Clinic
When scar tissue develops under the skin of the penis due to trauma or minor injury, Peyronie’s disease may occur. As the scar tissue forms, the penis may become bent or indented during an erection, which can cause increased pain. Dr. Ashley Tapscott specializes in the treatment of Peyronie’s Disease at our sexual health clinic in Huntersville, NC today.
Peyronie’s Disease Causes & Symptoms
Because Peyronie’s disease will have effects that are both tangible and visible, the symptoms are commonly noticeable to the naked eye. In over 70% of cases, the scar tissue will develop on the top of the penis causing it to bend upwards during an erection. If the scar tissues develop on the bottom or side of the penis, it will bend downward or sideways during an erection. In rare cases, the scar tissue may develop all around the penis, causing the shaft to narrow and become very hard.
If you are experiencing any of the following, you may be experiencing Peyronie’s disease:
- Pain during sex, or pain during an erection.
- Hard spots or lumps in the penis.
- Bends or curves in the penis.
- Narrowing or shortening of the penis.
Most often, Peyronie’s disease is caused by injury to the penis due to sports athletic activity, aggressive sex, or an accident of some sort. However, there have been cases in which the disease is part of a larger autoimmune issue. If the disease attacks cells within the penis, it can lead to inflammation and scarring.
Because the chances of getting Peyronie’s disease increases with age due to changes in the elasticity of the penis, men over the age of 50 are more commonly affected. In addition, men with a more active sexual lifestyle that may cause injuries to the penis, or men who have a family history of Peyronie’s disease have a higher chance of developing it over their lifetime.
The Process of Diagnosing Peyronie’s Disease
With or without an erection, Peyronie’s disease can most often be diagnosed in a physical exam. If scar tissue is felt, you may be given an injectable drug to create an erection and check how your penis curves or narrows. In addition, an ultrasound or X-ray may be ordered by our urologist to get an accurate location of the buildup of scar tissue. This will allow for a proper treatment plan to be designed.
How Is Peyronie’s Disease Treated By Dr. Tapscott?
The overall goal of treatment is to reduce pain and strengthen the ability to have intercourse. If you are not experiencing pain and having very little issues with penile curvature, you may not need treatment until the symptoms progress. In a few cases, the disease will resolve itself without any treatment.
Because there is a risk of erectile dysfunction associated with Peyronie’s disease, you may get recommended a change in lifestyle. This can include decreasing the amount of vigorous sexual activity or aggressive sports and quitting any smoking, illegal drugs, or alcohol consumption.
With medications and therapies, Peyronie’s disease can be effectively managed over time, pending the severity. Your urologist may prescribe a series of medications that may help inflammation or development of scar tissue. These treatments can include:
- Steroid injections.
- Vitamin E.
- Collagenase Injections.
These treatments must be discussed with Dr. Tapscott prior to being selected, as they will be highly dependent on other health considerations of the individual patient, and may not be a suitable option based on those factors.
Peyronie’s Disease Surgery
If you are experiencing severe issues with penile curvature or pain, surgery may be recommended. The types of surgery will depend on the severity but may include grafting or device implantation. Most commonly, the surgeries will include the following:
- Lengthening the area of the penis that curves.
- Placing a prosthetic device inside the penis.
- Shortening the opposite side of the penis from the scar tissue.
Peyronie’s Disease FAQ
Peyronie’s disease is likely caused by minor injury to the penis. This type of damage is most often caused by vigorous sex (such as bending the penis during penetration or pressure from a partner’s pubic bone), though it can also be caused by sports or other accidents.
If left untreated, Peyronie’s disease may result in focal bend, pain, or structural abnormalities of the erect penis.
Yes. Medications that are prescribed for erectile dysfunction (ED) are sometimes beneficial for patients in the early stages of Peyronie’s disease. However, it’s important that you discuss all medications taken with your doctor to confirm that they are okay to use in your specific situation.
Yes, in most cases. Peyronie’s disease is usually a permanent condition but can be improved using a variety of recommended treatments. Contact Dr. Ashley Tapscott to learn more about these specific treatments.
Ultrasound is the most common type of imaging used to diagnose Peyronie’s disease, though a physical exam may be sufficient enough for your doctor to diagnose the issue.
Vitamin E is commonly used to help treat Peyronie’s disease.
The curvature and shortening associated with Peyronie’s disease might gradually worsen, especially if left untreated.
There are a number of options available with most involving surgery. However, intralesional collagenase injections (Xiaflex) may be an option for you. Dr. Tapscott will discuss this after your initial visit.
It feels like a ridge or a row of tiny bumps under the skin of the penis. For some men, another symptom of Peyronie’s disease can be erectile dysfunction (difficulty getting or maintaining an erection). Some men may experience pain with or without an erection as well.