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22 May 2006
Peyronie’s Treated Using Shockwave Therapy
by George Atkinson

Men suffering from Peyronie's disease may be interested in positive results from a trial that examined the effectiveness of extracorporeal shock wave therapy as a potential treatment for the condition. Shock wave therapy is a non-surgical procedure most commonly used to break-up kidney stones. For Peyronie's sufferers, surgery has traditionally been the only option to remove the plaque build-up that occurs inside the penis and causes it to bend. Non-surgical treatment with Vitamin E is sometimes used as an alternative treatment, but trials to date have been inconclusive on its effectiveness.

Medical experts still don't have a clear idea of what causes Peyronie's disease. They do agree, however, that in addition to genetic predisposition, trauma of the penis and systemic vascular diseases are risk factors for Peyronie's. Smoking and alcohol consumption also would appear to play some role in the development of the disease.

The new study into Peyronie's and shock wave therapy, carried out by doctors from Greece and Germany, was first published in the Asian Journal of Andrology. The trial involved 53 men, all suffering from Peyronie's disease. The men were broken into two groups, one group receiving the shock wave treatment and the other acting as a control group (receiving no treatment).

Following up after treatment, the researchers found that there was no substantial change in erectile function or plaque size. But while the plaque size hadn't changed, the deviation angle of the penis had. The researchers said that in 21 patients (40 percent) the deviation angle was decreased by more than 10 degrees, with an average reduction in all patients of 11 degrees over a range of 6 - 20 degrees. Unfortunately, the researchers found that shock wave therapy made little difference to the pain caused by Peyronie's.

The researchers concluded that extracorporeal shock wave therapy was a minimally invasive and safe alternative procedure for the treatment of Peyronie's disease, even though its effects on penile pain and plaque size were not of significance.

Based on material from the Asian Journal of Andrology

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