Peyronie's disease is the name for a sharp curve in the penis, says FamilyDoctor.org. The National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC) expanded further, saying that 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 of the penis inside a thick membrane called the tunica albuginea, which envelopes the erectile tissues. The plaque begins as inflammation and develops into a hardened scar.
Mayo Clinic explained when men are sexually aroused, increased blood flows into the chambers on both sides of the penis. As they fill with blood, the penis expands, straightens and stiffens into an erection. The tunica albuginea allows the stretch during an erection. Penile injury can damage that tissue.
When an injury heals properly, there are generally no long-term problems. In Peyronie's disease, abnormal wound healing results in permanent scar tissue. The scar tissue portion is no longer flexible and the penis doesn't stretch. The penis bends or becomes disfigured and may be painful. This can prevent men from having sex or cause erection problems.
The cause of Peyronie's disease isn't completely understood. There are several factors that can contribute to abnormal wound healing and scar tissue buildup which may play a role in Peyronie's disease. Mayo Clinic said these include heredity, connective tissue disorders and aging. Smoking and some types of prostate surgery also may be linked. NKUDIC added that some researchers think Peyronie’s disease may be an autoimmune disorder.
FamilyDoctor.org said in some men, Peyronie's disease is a mild problem without symptoms. Others may have scar tissue under the penile skin, erection problems and pain, a significant bend to the penis, and shortening of the penis.
At first, men may not need treatment according to NIH. Some or all of the symptoms may improve over time or at least not get worse.
Mayo Clinic reported that a number of medications have been tried to treat Peyronie's disease, but they don't appear as effective as surgery.