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Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

Treatment

Most men with curvature of the penis do not need any treatment. This is true regardless of the cause.

Men with Peyronie's disease who experience pain or difficulty with intercourse sometimes are offered medical treatment. The ones that have shown the best results are oral pentoxifylline and injections into the scar tissue with one of three drugs:

  • Verapamil

  • Interferon alpha-2b

  • Collagenase

Other oral therapies include carnitine and vitamin E (sometimes with colchicine). But they men with moderate to severe curvature show little improvement with these agents.

High intensity ultrasound and radiation therapy are other potential treatments.

Corrective surgery may be offered to men with more bothersome or disfiguring symptoms that persist for more than one year. It's important to make sure that the disease is not active at the time of surgery. So, surgery should be delayed for at least three months after the condition is clearly stable.

In a typical procedure, the inflamed or scarred portion of tissue is removed from the penis. It is replaced with a graft taken from another part of the body (often the scrotum or forearm).

This surgery often works well. However, mild curvature of the penis may remain. In addition, sexual function or shortening of the penis may not improve following surgery.

For this reason, surgeons sometimes implant a penile prosthesis during surgery. In some men, a prosthesis alone is enough to straighten the curvature and improve sexual function. Men who are considering surgery should be sure to discuss all the options with their physicians.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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