What is Peyronie's Disease?
Peyronie's Disease - Background and Description
Peyronie's Disease was first described in 1743 by a French surgeon, Francois de la Peyronie and was written about as early as 1687. The disease is oftentimes associated with impotence.
The most common symptom of Peyronie's Disease is a curvature, lump or hard area observed in the penis. Painful erections and penile pain are also symptoms of this condition. . The lumps or hard areas, also referred to as plaque or scar tissue form between the tunica and the outer layers of skin. The plaque or scarring also reduces the elasticity to the affected area, it will not stretch as the surrounding, unaffected tissues. The erect penis bends in the direction of the scar or plaque formation as a result of this, often with associated pain.
Recent studies in Europe report three percent of men have Peyronie's Disease. Statistics gathered show the average age of the patient to be 55, although patients as young as 16 and as old as 83 have been treated. About 30 percent of the patients with Peyronie's Disease also develop fibrosis in other tissues of the body, such as the hands and feet. This group of patients with involvement in more than one body part may have been born with a genetic predisposition to the disease. This genetic predisposition can occur in women as well.
Many physicians believe that the plaque associated with Peyronie's Disease develops as a result of trauma to the penis that causes localized bleeding inside the penis. Repeated trauma to the damaged area may prevent normal healing, or very slowl healing. As the plaque that forms hardens, it becomes fibrotic and sometimes allows for calcium deposits.