Posts Tagged ‘penile curvature’

10 Common Penile “Flaws” You May Have That Are Actually Quite Normal

October 14, 2017

 Andrew Siegel MD   10/14/17

A penis is a special organ—a man’s joy, if not pride—and certainly one of his most prized, appreciated and cherished possessions, to which he has a significant attachment. As multifunctional as a Swiss Army knife, it allows him to stand to urinate (an undervalued capability), rises and firms to the occasion to allow for sexual penetration, and ejaculates genetic material–the means to perpetuate the species. A marvel of hydraulic engineering, within nanoseconds of sexual stimulation it is uniquely capable of increasing its blood flow 50 times over baseline, transforming its shape and size. Penis magic!

Each and every penis is unique.  As variable as snowflakes, they come in every size, shape and color. Beyond “size matters”—often a source of male preoccupation—men are often obsessed, if not preoccupied, with the appearance of their genitals.  In my interactions with patients, concerns are often voiced about symmetry, color, pigmentation, angulation, spots, blemishes, vein patterns, shrinkage and other oddities. Unless you are in the habit of closely inspecting other men’s genitals (as urologists are), you are unlikely to realize how common and completely normal most of these genital variations are.

 10 Common Penile “Flaws” You May Have That Are Actually Quite Normal

  1. Penis leans to one side

left or right

No human is perfectly symmetrical and the flaccid penis rarely hangs perfectly centered. Wherever your penis naturally lies when you are clothed—whether left or right—is not indicative of your political leaning or left vs. right-sided brain predominance and is of absolutely no significance or consequence whatsoever!

Interesting trivia: “Throckmorton’s sign” is a term used jokingly by medical students, residents and attending physicians. A positive Throckmorton sign is when the penis points to the side of the body where the pathology is, e.g., if a man is getting surgery for a right groin hernia and the penis points to the right side. The Throckmorton sign indicates the proper side of the pathology at least 50% of the time!  Operating room humor! 

  1. Slight penile curvature when erect

pixabay banana

Thank you Pixabay, for image above

Again, although perfect symmetry may be desirable, the norm for the erect penis is not to be perfectly straight. There is often a subtle bend to the left, right, up or down.  Some men have a penis that has a banana-like curvature. Slight bends—considered totally normal—are to be distinguished from Peyronie’s disease, a condition in which there is significant angulation due to scarring of the sheaths of the erectile chambers. It is a potentially serious condition that can cause painful erections and erectile dysfunction.

  1. One testicle hangs lower

pixabay plumsThank you Pixabay, for image above

If you ever wondered why one of your testes is slightly bigger or heavier and hangs lower than the testes on the other side, you are in good company. Paralleling women with breast asymmetry, the vast majority of men have testes asymmetry, so your mismatched gonads are perfectly normal.

  1. Dark genital skin

Hyperpigmentation (darkening) of the median raphe (the line running from anus to perineum to scrotum to undersurface of penis) and other areas of the penis is extremely common.  In fact, it is normal for the penile skin color to be darker than other areas of the body, because of the effect of sex hormones on the cells that produce pigment (melanocytes).  The circumcision line, as well, is often deeply pigmented.

  1. Freckles, moles and skin tags

pixabay spottedThank you Pixabay, for image above

The penis is covered by skin–just like the rest of the body–and is therefore subject to common benign skin growths, including moles, freckles and skin tags. These are generally harmless and usually do not require any treatment unless desired for cosmetic reasons. However, if you have a growth that changes in size, color or texture, you should have it checked out because penile cancers do occur on occasion.  Skin tags are small fleshy protuberances and can be confused with genital warts, so if you have any doubt, get checked.

  1. Other penis and scrotal bumps and lumps

Pearly penile papules are raised “pearly” bumps that appear around the corona (the base of the head of the penis). They consist of one or more rows of small, fleshy, yellow-pink or transparent, smooth bumps surrounding the penile head. They are benign and do not cause harm, but sometimes are treated for cosmetic reasons, usually with freezing or lasering.

Pearly_Penile_Papules_Front

Pearly penile papules, By AndyRich48 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Sebaceous glands produce oil that nourishes the hair follicles of the genitals. These glands appear as numerous small yellowish bumps on the scrotum and penile base.  In some men, they are prominent and referred to as sebaceous gland hyperplasia.  At times, they can exist without a hair follicle even being present.  Regardless, they are a normal occurrence.  See public domain image below–a.k.a. Fordyce spots.

Fordyces_spot_closeup.public domain. jpg

  1. Scattered scrotal spots

Angiokeratomas are benign purplish skin growths with a scaly surface that are not uncommonly present on the scrotum. They consist of dilated thin-walled blood vessels with overlying skin thickening. These skin lesions can occasionally bleed and also cause fear and anxiety since they can resemble more serious problems such as melanoma. If in any doubt, get it checked out.

Angiokeratoma_of_the_Scrotum_5

Scrotal angiokeratomas, By Jlcarter2 (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or   CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

  1. Veiny vanity

Every man has a unique penile venous pattern, the anatomy as unpredictable as the distinctive venous anatomy of the hand and wrist. In some men, the veins are twisted and prominent and in other men they are barely noticeable.  No matter what the pattern, venous anatomy is highly variable and individualized and is normal.

  1. Loose skin

Unlike most other skin on the body that is more tightly attached, penile skin is loosely attached to underlying tissues, allowing for expansion with erections. Since the physical state of the penis can vary from totally flaccid to totally rigid, when the penis is fully deflated, the skin may appear to be somewhat floppy and redundant, which is absolutely normal.  Scrotal skin often becomes increasing lax with the aging process, such that the testicles typically hang quite low in the elderly male, paralleling the common situation of pendulous breasts of the elderly female.

10. Shrinkage

Penile size in an individual is quite variable, based upon penile blood flow. The more blood flow, the more tumescence (swelling); the less blood flow, the less tumescence. “Shrinkage” can be provoked by exposure to cold (weather or water), the state of being anxious or nervous, and participation in sports. The mechanism in all cases involves temporary reduced blood circulation.  Don’t worry, that sorry and spent looking penis can magically be revived with some TLC!

Bottom line: If you have an imperfect penis…welcome to the club!  No penis or scrotum is perfect.  Far from being an object of beauty, genital imperfections are the norm, so there is no need for feeling self-conscious. Just be happy that your little “fella” can function properly and enjoy his own happiness from time to time! Function over form!

Wishing you the best of health,

2014-04-23 20:16:29

A new blog is posted every week. To receive the blogs in the in box of your email go to the following link and click on “email subscription”:  www.HealthDoc13.WordPress.com

Dr. Andrew Siegel is a practicing physician and urological surgeon board-certified in urology as well as in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery.  Dr. Siegel serves as Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at the Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School and is a Castle Connolly Top Doctor New York Metro Area, Inside Jersey Top Doctor and Inside Jersey Top Doctor for Women’s Health. His mission is to “bridge the gap” between the public and the medical community that is in such dire need of bridging.

 

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Penile Curvature: How To Dissolve Peyronie’s Scar

March 26, 2016

Andrew Siegel MD  3/26/16

FullSizeRender-2

Peyronies Disease is an inflammatory condition of the penis that causes penile curvature and an uncomfortable or painful erection.  Scarring of a region of the sheath surrounding the erectile chambers of the penis (tunica albuginea) occurs, sabotaging the ability to obtain a straight and rigid erection with the potential for dramatically interfering with one’s sexual and psychological health. The scarring causes the presence of a hard lump(s), penile shortening, narrowing, curvature, a visual indentation of the penis described as an “hourglass” deformity, and painful, less rigid erections.

Penile pain, curvature, and poor expansion of the erectile chambers contribute to difficulty in having a functionally and anatomically correct rigid erection suitable for intercourse. The curvature can range from a very minor, barely perceptible deviation to a deformity that requires “acrobatics” to achieve vaginal penetration to an erection that is so angulated that intercourse is impossible. The angulation can occur in any direction and sometimes involves more than one angle, depending on the number, location and extent of the scar tissue.

Although it can occur at any age, Peyronies most commonly occurs in 50-60 year-olds. The underlying cause is suspected to be chronic penile trauma, associated with bending and buckling following years of sexual intercourse. This type of injury activates an abnormal scarring process with an acute phase characterized by painful erections and an evolving scar, curvature and deformity and a chronic phase marked by resolution of pain and inflammation, stabilization of the curvature and deformity, and, not uncommonly, ED. The chronic phase typically occurs up to 18 months or so after the initial onset of symptoms.

Collagenase (Xiaflex) is an enzyme capable of dissolving scar tissue. It is derived from the clostridium bacteria and has been used for years for Dupuytren’s contracture, a similar situation to Peyronie’s that occurs on the hand, causing scarring of the tissue beneath the skin of the palm and fingers, making it challenging to straighten one’s fingers. Collagenase functions as a “chemical knife” capable of dissolving collagen, the main constituent of scar tissue. It is used for men with Peyronie’s disease and a penile angulation of 30 degrees or greater. The goal of treatment is disrupting the scar tissue and decreasing the curvature of the erect penis.

The injections are performed in an office setting by a urologist with Peyronie’s expertise. One course of treatment may involve as many as four treatment cycles, with each cycle consisting of two injections of collagenase directly into the scar tissue, each spaced 1-3 days apart. A few days after the second injection, the penis is manipulated, massaged and molded in order to “model” it into a straighter version of itself. Thereafter, the patient performs self-stretching of the flaccid penis three times daily for 6 weeks or so. Gentle self-straightening is also performed on a daily basis if spontaneous erections allow one to do so. The endpoint is achieving as straight a penis as possible with an angulation of less than 15 degrees. One treatment cycle may be repeated as many as four times.

Injection of Xiaflex can be highly effective, but is not without side effects including the expected results of an injection into tissue including bruising, swelling and mild-moderate pain. On rare occasions, a rupture of the erectile chamber of the penis (penile fracture) can occur. It is advisable to wait two weeks after the second injection of each treatment cycle before resuming sexual activity, provided the pain and swelling have subsided.

Auxilium/Endo, the pharmacological company that provides Xiaflex, has an excellent patient counseling tool that is available at the following site:

http://xiaflexrems.com/downloads/RMX-00014-XIAFLEX-REMS-Patient-Guide-(Patient-Counseling-Tool)-for-PD-(5).pdf

Bottom Line: Peyronie’s Disease, like Dupuytren’s contracture, is the presence of scar tissue in a very “operative” area of the body that can interfere with function and reduce one’s quality of life. Collagenase (Xiaflex) is a scar-dissolving chemical derived from bacteria that can reduce this scar tissue and vastly improve function and quality of life.

Wishing you the best of health,

2014-04-23 20:16:29

http://www.AndrewSiegelMD.com

A new blog is posted every week. To receive the blogs in the in box of your email go to the following link and click on “email subscription”:  www.HealthDoc13.WordPress.com

Author of Male Pelvic Fitness: Optimizing Sexual and Urinary Health: available in e-book (Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo) and paperback: www.MalePelvicFitness.com. In the works is The Kegel Fix: Recharging Female Pelvic, Sexual and Urinary Health.

Co-creator of Private Gym and PelvicRx: comprehensive, interactive, FDA-registered follow-along male pelvic floor muscle training programs. Built upon the foundational work of Dr. Arnold Kegel, these programs empower men to increase pelvic floor muscle strength, tone, power, and endurance: www.PrivateGym.com or Amazon.  

Pelvic Rx can be obtained at http://www.UrologyHealthStore.com, an online store that is home to quality urology products for men and women.  Use code UROLOGY10 at check out for 10% discount. 

Peyronie’s Disease: Not the Kind of Curve You Want

May 23, 2015

Andrew Siegel MD  5/23/15

banana-25239_640

(Thank you, Pixabay, for above image)

Peyronie’s Disease is an inflammatory condition of the penis that causes curvature and an uncomfortable or painful erection. It is not uncommon– 65,000-120,000 cases per year in the USA–with only a small fraction of those who have the disease actually seeking treatment. Although it can occur at any age, it most commonly is seen in 50-60 year-olds. Essentially, it is scar tissue in a bad location, which sabotages the ability to obtain a straight and rigid erection, resulting in a dramatic interference with one’s sexual and psychological health.

Why Is Penile Curvature Called Peyronie’s Disease?

Most people assume that Peyronie’s disease is named after poor Monsieur Peyronie, who not only was afflicted with the disease, but also was further disgraced by having the disease named after him. The truth of the matter is that Peyronie’s disease is named after the French surgeon, de la Peyronie, who first described it in 1743.

How Do You Know If You Have Peyronies?

Peyronie’s Disease causes fibrous, inelastic “plaques” of the sheath surrounding the erectile chambers that reside within the penis. This results in deformities of the penis during erections, including the presence of a hard lump(s), shortening, curvature and bending, narrowing, a visual indentation of the penis described as an hour-glass deformity and pain with erections as well as less rigid erections.  Penile pain, curvature, and poor expansion of the erectile chambers contribute to difficulty in having a functional and anatomically correct rigid erection suitable for intercourse. The curvature can range from a very minor, barely noticeable deviation to a deformity that requires “acrobatics” to achieve vaginal penetration to an erection that is so angulated that intercourse is impossible. The angulation can occur in any direction and sometimes involves more than one angle, depending on the number, location and extent of the scarring. Although the scarring is physical, it often has psychological ramifications, causing anxiety and depression.

What Causes It And What Can You Expect In The Future?

The underlying cause of Peyronies is unclear, but is suspected to be penile trauma—perhaps associated with excessive bending and buckling from sexual intercourse—that activates an abnormal scarring process. During acute Peyronies, erections are painful and there is an evolving scar, curvature and deformity. The chronic phase occurs up to 18 months or so after initial onset and at which time the pain and inflammation resolve, the curvature and deformity stabilize, and often erectile dysfunction is noted. Peyronie’s regresses in about 15% of men, progresses in 40% of untreated men, and remains stable in 45% of men. Many men become very self-conscious about the appearance of their penis and the limitations it causes, and they may avoid sex entirely.

Is Peyronie’s Treatable?

Treatment options include oral medications, topical agents, injections of medications into the scar tissue, shock wave therapy, and surgery. Upon initial diagnosis, most men are started on oral Vitamin E, 400 IU daily, as this has the potential to soften the scar tissue causing the plaque. Many of the aforementioned treatments are not particularly effective because scar tissue is a challenging problem. Erectile dysfunction can be often be managed with ED medications.

Xiaflex—a.k.a. collagenase—derived from the clostridium bacteria, is the newest treatment for Peyronies. It has been used for years for Dupuytren’s contracture, a similar situation to Peyronie’s that occurs on the hand, causing a scarring of the tissue beneath the skin of the palm and fingers, making it very difficult to straighten one’s fingers. Xiaflex functions as a “chemical knife” by dissolving collagen, the main constituent of scar tissue. It is typically used for men with an angulation of 30 degrees or more. It is injected directly into the scar tissue after which the area is massaged and modeled to disrupt the scar tissue and mold the penis. One course of treatment may involve as many as eight injections. Injection of this medication can be highly effective, but is not without side effects including bruising, swelling, pain and possibly rupture of the erectile chamber of the penis causing a penile fracture.

If there is an unsatisfactory response to conservative managements, a penile implant may be appropriate. This can manage the dual problems of erectile dysfunction and penile angulation. If erections are adequate, but angulation prevents intercourse, options include doing a “nip and tuck” opposite the plaque in an effort to make expansion more symmetrical. Although this technique is effective in improving the angulation, it does so at the cost of penile shortening. Other more complex procedures involve incising or removing the scar tissue and using grafting material to replace the tissue defect.

Bottom Line: When scar tissue occurs on an area of the body that moves, expands or acts as a channel, it affects function as well as form. Thus a scarred elbow can impact mobility, scarred lungs can disturb breathing, a scarred bile duct can cause jaundice and scarred erectile chambers can cause Peyronie’s. The good news is that mild Peyronie’s does not need to be treated and if more severe forms occur that interfere with one’s quality of life, there are effective means to treat it.  

Resources:

www.peyroniesassociation.org

www.askaboutthecurve.com

www.menshealthPD.com

Wishing you the best of health and a great Memorial Day weekend!

2014-04-23 20:16:29

http://www.AndrewSiegelMD.com

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A new blog is posted every week. To receive the blogs in the in box of your email go to the following link and click on “email subscription”: www.HealthDoc13.WordPress.com

Author of Male Pelvic Fitness: Optimizing Sexual and Urinary Health: available in e-book (Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Kobo) and paperback: http://www.MalePelvicFitness.com

Co-founder of Private Gym: http://www.PrivateGym.com–available on Amazon and Private Gym website

The Private Gym is a comprehensive, interactive, follow-along exercise program that provides the resources to properly strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that are vital to sexual and urinary health. The program builds upon the foundational work of Dr. Arnold Kegel, who popularized exercises for women to increase pelvic strength and tone. This FDA registered program is effective, safe and easy-to-use: The “Basic Training” program strengthens the pelvic floor muscles with a series of progressive “Kegel” exercises and the “Complete Program” provides maximum opportunity for gains through its patented resistance equipment.