Clinical Efficacy of Shockwave Therapy For Peyronie’s Disease

Peyronie’s Disease is a problem that affects men all over the world and causes the formation of scar tissue called “plaque” in the penis. The cause of the disease is unclear, but many doctors think that after a trauma (e.g. hitting or bending), there is bleeding inside the penis, which leads to plaque formation. Mostly, men don’t even notice this type of trauma. Some researchers also believe that the disease has genetic origins. Whatever the reason, Peyronie’s Disease can affect men of all age groups. Men suffering from this disease have difficulty in getting an erection or get a painful and curved erection, instead of a straight one. In other words, this disease also causes erectile dysfunction disorder (ED). If you feel pain and suffering when you have an erection, you may have Peyronie’s Disease.

The Treatment Of Peyronie’s Disease

Two methods are used in the treatment of this disease: oral treatment and surgical intervention (penile implant surgery). Doctors decide which of these will be used according to the severity of the disease. Oral treatment requires the use of drugs such as “pentoxifylline” for a long time. The surgical intervention allows the removal of plaque formation in the penis. However, both treatment options have several problems.

  • Oral treatment continues for a very long time and has many side effects. If you are receiving treatment for another disease, this option is often not applicable because there is a possibility that the drugs will interact with each other. The efficacy of oral treatment is also very low and does not produce any results in many patients.
  • Surgery is more effective but unfortunately causes the penis to shorten. In this process, the diseased tissue is cut out and the area where the erection takes place naturally becomes smaller. Moreover, surgical intervention is not a definitive solution, as plaques can regenerate elsewhere in the penis. Some doctors even think that this treatment option worsens the problem.

In other words, none of the available treatments provide a definitive solution for Peyronie’s Disease and each has multiple problems.

ESWT Is The Alternative Treatment For Peyronie’s Disease

ESWT therapy, which has been used since the 1980s, means the application of low-intensity shock waves from outside the body and allows the tissue to heal itself without feeling any pain or requiring anaesthesia. This is a non-invasive treatment option and consists of multiple sessions. Each session lasts an average of 15 minutes and the clinician applies shock waves to the problem areas with a specially manufactured probe.

This method, used for the treatment of kidney stones and orthopedic problems, is also effective in the treatment of erectile dysfunction disorders. In addition, there are multiple clinical trials that prove its effectiveness and against Peyronie’s Disease.

The first trial was made in 2019 by the Urology departments of the Universities of Catania and Naples (*). This test shows that after the ESWT treatment, plaque size decreased by 15 cm2, erection length increased by 1 cm, and the penis has begun to erect at a straighter angle. The second research was conducted by The University of Western Australia in 2017-2018 (**). In this study, ESWT treatment was applied to the participants for 10 minutes and then some measurements were made with penile duplex doppler ultrasound scan (PDDU). After a 4-week therapy session, a decrease in plaque counts was observed in all participants. In other words, there are two clinical trials that prove that ESWT is an effective and alternative treatment for Peyronie’s Disease.

(*) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30929330

(**) https://www.anzctr.org.au/Trial/Registration/TrialReview.aspx?id=373696

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