Urological Conditions - Male Urology
Overview Peyronie's Disease
Peyronie's disease is characterized by a plaque, or hard lump, that forms within the penis. The plaque, a flat plate of scar tissue, develops on the top or bottom side of the penis inside a thick membrane called the tunica albuginea, which envelopes the erectile tissues. The plaque begins as a localized inflammation and develops into a hardened scar. This plaque has no relationship to the plaque that can develop in arteries.

Cases of Peyronie's disease range from mild to severe. Symptoms may develop slowly or appear overnight. In severe cases, the hardened plaque reduces flexibility, causing pain and forcing the penis to bend or arc during erection. In many cases, the pain decreases over time, but the bend in the penis may remain a problem, making sexual intercourse difficult. The sexual problems that result can disrupt a couple's physical and emotional relationship and can lower a man's self-esteem.

In a small percentage of men with the milder form of the disease, inflammation may resolve without causing significant pain or permanent bending.

The plaque itself is benign, or noncancerous. It is not a tumor. Peyronie's disease is not contagious and is not known to be caused by any transmittable disease.

A plaque on the topside of the shaft, which is most common, causes the penis to bend upward; a plaque on the underside causes it to bend downward. In some cases, the plaque develops on both top and bottom, leading to indentation and shortening of the penis. At times, pain, bending, and emotional distress prohibit sexual intercourse.
A cross-section of the penis illustrating Peyronie's disease
 
Additional Reference Documents (PDFs):

Peyronies Disease  NKUDIC: NIH Publication No. 09-3902 April 2009

References:

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
AND HUMAN SERVICES

National Kidney and Urologic Diseases
Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC)

National Institutes of Health
NIH Publication No. 09-3902
April 2009

Websites for Additional Information:

AUAFoundation - The Official Foundation of the American Urological Association

NKDEP - National Kidney Disease Education Program

NKUDIC-National Kidney and Urologic Diseases
Information Clearinghouse

National Kidney and Urologic Diseases
Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC)Kidney and Urologic Diseases A-Z list of Topics and Titles

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