Merck Manual

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Peyronie Disease


Patrick J. Shenot

, MD, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

Reviewed/Revised Aug 2023
Topic Resources

Peyronie disease is a fibrous thickening that contracts and deforms the penis, distorting the shape of an erection.

The Penis and Urethra

Many men have a small degree of curvature of their erect penis. Peyronie disease causes a more severe curvature. Inflammation inside the penis results in the formation of fibrous scar tissue that causes curvature in the erect penis, making penetration during sexual intercourse difficult or impossible. However, what causes the inflammation is not known with certainty.

Doctors can usually make the diagnosis by examining the penis. Sometimes ultrasonography is done to evaluate the scar tissue.

What Is Peyronie Disease?

In Peyronie disease, inflammation inside the penis causes scar tissue to form. Because the scar tissue does not enlarge during an erection, the erect penis is curved, making penetration during sexual intercourse difficult or impossible. The scar tissue may extend into the erectile tissue (corpora cavernosa), causing erectile dysfunction.

What Is Peyronie Disease?

Treatment of Peyronie Disease

  • Vitamin E and/or potassium para-aminobenzoate

  • Injections to reduce scar tissue

  • Ultrasound treatments

  • External traction devices (to straighten the penis)

Minor curvature that does not impair sexual function does not require treatment. Peyronie disease may resolve over several months without treatment.

Vitamin E, which can aid wound healing and decrease scarring, may be taken by mouth. Potassium para-aminobenzoate can also be taken by mouth but sometimes causes stomach pain or digestive problems and requires taking many pills each day.

Corticosteroids, verapamil, or collagenase clostridium histolyticum (collagenase) can be injected into the scar tissue to break it up and, thereby, decrease inflammation and reduce scarring.

Ultrasound treatments can stimulate blood flow, which may prevent further scarring.

Radiation therapy may decrease pain but often worsens tissue damage.

Surgery is not recommended unless the disease has progressed and the curvature has become too severe for successful intercourse. Penile plication surgery uses sutures under the skin to tighten or shorten the opposite side of the penis, resulting in partial or complete straightening. Surgery to remove the scar tissue shortens the penis and may worsen the disease or result in erectile dysfunction Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to attain or sustain an erection satisfactory for sexual intercourse. (See also Overview of Sexual Dysfunction in Men.) Every man occasionally has... read more but may be used if curvature is severe in patients with strong erections. In patients with erectile dysfunction at baseline, a penile prosthesis may be implanted to simultaneously treat erectile dysfunction and straighten the penis.

Sometimes the doctor recommends wearing a device that stretches the penis (called external traction) to straighten it.

Drugs Mentioned In This Article

Generic Name Select Brand Names
Alph-E-Mixed , AQUA-E, Aquasol E , Aquavite-E
Calan, Calan SR, Covera-HS, Isoptin, Isoptin SR, Verelan, Verelan PM
Rejuvicare, Santyl, Xiaflex
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