What is Peyronie’s disease?

Peyronie’s disease is a urology condition where scar tissue forms inside the penis, which can cause painful erections. In some men, the condition causes a severe bend that makes it challenging to have sex or maintain an erection.

Causes of Peyronie’s disease

Although the exact cause of Peyronie’s disease is unknown, it has been linked to penile trauma or being passed down through genes.

Risk factors of Peyronie’s disease

The likelihood of developing Peyronie’s disease increases as men age, but it is not a normal part of aging.

Other risk factors include:

  • Family history
  • Injury to the penis
  • Smoking
  • Health conditions
  • Prostate surgery
  • Connective tissue disorders

Symptoms of Peyronie’s disease

The first symptoms of Peyronie’s disease are inflammation and swelling in the penis, which may turn into a hard scar.

Diagnosis of Peyronie’s disease

Peyronie’s disease can be diagnosed by your Mercy Health urologist in a physical exam. During the physical exam, your doctor will examine the flaccid penis to locate the scar tissue.

Your doctor may also need to see or take ultrasound images of the erect penis to evaluate the extent of your penile curvature. The ultrasound can show where the scar tissue is located and how severely the blood flow is blocked. These results will help your doctor develop the most appropriate treatment plan for your case.

Treatments for Peyronie’s disease

Patients who are not experiencing issues with their sex life may not need medical treatment for Peyronie's disease because the condition often heals on its own.

If watchful waiting is not an option for you, the goal of treatment is to reduce pain and restore your sexual function. Non-surgical treatments could include:


There are a variety of oral and injectable medications that may be prescribed to treat Peyronie’s disease. Although medications are an inexpensive, conservative treatment option, they are typically not as effective as surgery.


Surgery to remove the plaque and straighten the penis may be recommended if you have had the condition for a year, erections and intercourse is painful and the curvature has stabilized. Your doctor will evaluate your case to determine which surgical procedure will be most effective for your case.

  • Grafting — during a grafting procedure, your surgeon will remove plaque from the penis and attach a patch of skin or vein that is made from human, animal or synthetic material.
  • Penile device implants — you may need a penile device implant if you have both ED and Peyronie’s disease; an implant will help straighten the penis, once you have a penile implant, you will always have to use the device to have an erection.
  • Plication — plication is a procedure where your surgeon will try to straighten the penis by removing tissue from the side of the penis without the scar tissue; this can shorten the penis.

Find a urologist nearby

Mercy Health locations that can treat you