Peyronie's disease is characterized by a dense tissue plaque that emerges on the erectile tissue of the penis. This plaque starts most of the time as an inflammation which in time becomes a fibrous tissue. Peyronie's disease was described for the first time in 1743 by the French surgeon known as François de la Peyronie who would be the responsible for the name of the condition. It was classified as a type of impotence. However nowadays impotence is considered as a factor associated with Peyronie's disease, but it is not present always.
Some investigators believe that Peyronie's disease develops as a consequence of a trauma on penis tissues that causes bleeding inside them. This trauma can explain the acute cases of Peyronie's disease, but it does not explain most of the cases that are developed slowly or the causes for those cases which have emerge without an apparent trauma.
Generally if the disease is healed in a period of a year the plaque does not pass from the initial inflammatory stage. However if the condition lasts for years, the plaque often becomes into a tough fibrous tissue and calcium deposits can emerge.
The plaque of fibrous tissue of Peyronie is benign, it is not cancerous. Regarding the symptoms for this condition, each individual may experience different symptomatology, nevertheless a group of signs has been collected and they are listed below:
- A plaque on the top of the upper part of the penis, which is the most common situation, it causes the penis to bend upward;
- The plaque on the lower part causes the penis to bend downward;
- In the cases that the plaque is developed on the upper part and the lower part of the penis an indentation and shortening of the penis may appear;
- The curvature, pain and emotional concern could become serious obstacles for pleasurable sexual relations;
- Erections can be painful.
Peyronie's disease symptoms may present similarities with symptoms related to other diseases, it is recommended to have a doctor’s appointment in order to confirm or discard this condition.
The diagnosis for Peyronie's disease is normally done when men are looking for medical assistance for painful erections and difficulties during sexual intercourse. Besides the physical exam and a complete clinical history, the procedures to diagnose the disease could include the following:
- Penile ultrasound - a diagnosis technique that uses sound waves of high frequency to create images of inner organs;
- Doppler exam in color - a type of ultrasound that uses sound waves to measure the flow of blood through a blood vessel, waveforms of blood flow are exhibited on the ultrasound screen (to evaluate erectile anatomy, function and blood flow).
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