Peyronie disease is an uncommon problem that causes deformity of the erect penis. The cause may be injury to the penis, narrowing of the artery to one side of the penis (common with poorly controlled diabetes or high cholesterol), abnormal nerve supply to the penis or most frequently for no actual known cause. The incidence increases with age.
These men have significant side-to-side (not vertical) curvature of the erect penis and a less firm than normal erection as the normal tissue of the penis is replaced by fibrous tissue on one side only. A small degree of side-to-side curvature (up to 15°) is quite normal. A hard piece of tissue can often be felt at the base of the penis on the affected side. Ultrasound scans can show the abnormal fibrous tissue in the penis.
Most forms of treatment are not very successful. Surgery, steroid injections, injections with verapamil (normally used for high blood pressure and heart failure) and radiotherapy may be tried. The most radical and most successful treatment is surgical replacement of the contents of the penis with an inflatable bladder that can be pumped up when an erection is desired. This is up to 80% effective.
It is named after the French physician François Peyronie (1678-1747).