Congenital Penile Curvature
Congenital Penile Curvature, or CPC, is a relatively uncommon condition. It can be noted early in life by parents during diapering and dressing of their infants. Others do not discover the problem until sexual maturity, where they notice the curvature themselves. Often, the penile curvature is only observed in the erect state. CPC can sometimes occur together with hypospadias. This is a urethral abnormality whereby the opening of the urethra is on the underside of the penis instead of the tip.
The cause of CPC is not known, but is thought to result from excessive elasticity in one aspect of the penis as compared to the rest of the penis. For example, if there is more tissue elasticity on the top of the penis, it expands more than the rest of the penis during erection, resulting in a downward curve. The curve in CPC is typically downwards.
The degree of curvature ranges from mild to severe. There can be discomfort experienced during sexual intercourse. Men may find that they are only able to have sex in one particular position. Other positions may not be possible due to the nature of the curve. Unlike Peyronie’s disease, which is another cause of curved penis, CPC does not cause painful erections or erectile dysfunction, and there is no fibrous scar tissue that can be felt.
Medical literature suggests that CPC can only be treated surgically by a method known as plication, which involves removing tissue and stitching the opposite side of where the curvature is.
ESWT – Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy
There are no evidence-based non-surgical treatments described. However, from our experience at DTAP, we have observed that Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy, or ESWT, is also able to treat CPC with favourable outcomes. We have treated a considerable number of CPC patients with ESWT alone and achieved either full resolution or significant improvement in curvature.
Therefore, at DTAP we offer ESWT as a treatment option for CPC. We would like to re-emphasize that this is not based on the medical literature, but rather from our personal experiences with patients. It is always recommended to visit a doctor for a detailed consultation, medical examination and assessment of treatment options before making an informed decision on which treatment to undertake.