Some cases of Peyronie's disease will improve without treatment, while others require medication or surgery to correct the curvature resulting from damage to the penis. The idea is to reduce the pain associated with the condition while preserving a man's ability to enjoy sex.
1. Arthritis meds "Peyronie's disease ends up being
arthritis of the penis," says Irwin Goldstein, MD, director of San
Diego Sexual Medicine and the editor in chief of the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
"So there are a number of therapies for arthritis that can be used for
Peyronie's, like anti-inflammatories." Anti-inflammatory treatments
include Potaba, which the Food and Drug Administration has labeled
"possibly effective" for treating Peyronie's disease, as well as
colchicine. However, large doses of Potaba are needed for this
treatment, and it may cause stomach upset.
2. Injections Your
doctor may choose to try an injection to help reduce the swelling and
pain associated with Peyronie's disease. "Injecting drugs such as
collagenase, verapamil—a calcium channel blocker—and
interferon-alpha-2b is an option," says Dr. Goldstein, "though only
interferon has been shown to be effective."
3. Steroids One
of the best ways to stop pain that is resistant to more conservative
treatments (such as ibuprofen), says Dr. Goldstein, is through steroids
and steroid nerve blocks. He sometimes recommends injecting a steroid
such as Kenalog, along with an anesthetic such as lidocaine, into the
penis for quick relief of debilitating pain.
4. Surgery Not
all doctors agree on treatment with medications. Ira Sharlip, MD,
spokesman for the American Urological Association and clinical
professor of urology at University of California at San Francisco,
believes there aren't any effective treatments other than corrective
Surgery may help, but it is generally reserved for more serious, long-term cases.
There are three kinds of surgical treatments for Peyronie's disease. •
Nesbit procedure (or Nesbit plication): Tissues in the area of the
penis opposite the affected ones are removed or pinched to correct the
bend. The procedure can shorten the length of the erect penis, however,
so doctors generally reserve this surgery for men with adequate penis
length and cases that don't involve an extreme curvature.
Plaque incision with saphenous vein graft: For someone with a shorter
penis, a more severe curve or an hourglass-shaped penis, a doctor might
choose to make incisions in the plaque and graft a vein in the area.
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