Warning to Patients About "Peyronie's Disease"

Peyronie’s disease is a term to describe curvature of the penis sometimes producing painful erections. The curvature is caused by patches of scar tissue that form in the compartments of the penis that fill with blood during an erection. Peyronie’s disease can be caused injury to the penis during sexual activity when the penis is not completely rigid. With partial erections, the penis is more prone to buckle during intercourse, tearing small blood vessels and causing hemorrhage into the tissues of the penis. This results in scarring that leads to unequal lengthening of the penis during subsequent erections. To avoid the development of Peyronie’s disease after radical prostatectomy, we recommend the use of a vacuum erection device, intracavenosal injections or intraurethral suppositories to ensure rigid erections during the early recovery phase of erectile function. It is also important to ensure that there is adequate lubrication during intercourse. Usually the curvature of Peyronie’s disease straightens considerably although not always completely, with time. We have not found medication such as colchicine, vitamin E, or Potaba to be of much benefit. Peyronie’s disease usually can be prevented by the use of adequate lubrication and taking care to avoid trauma to the penis during sexual activity.

William J. Catalona, M.D.

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