Shockwave therapy for Peyronie’s disease

Peyronie’s disease consists of the formation of scar tissue lump in the penis. It affects 9% of men, generally over the age of 35.

Peyronie’s disease is a progressive disease and is characterized by two different stages:

  • The acute phase: from its onset up to about 12 months during which the size and morphology of the plaque are subject to continuous changes and the symptoms also tend to vary. In this phase the patient usually experience pain during the erection
  • The chronic phase: after one year from the onset of the disease, the plaque and symptoms begin to stabilize and at this point it will be possible to consider all the therapeutic options.

Shockwave treatment is a new type of outpatient treatment, designed to decrease pain and to reduce the length of the active phase of the Peyroine’s disease. Shockwaves stimulate the growth of new blood vessels that increase blood flow by bringing a series of anti-inflammatory mediators to the site of the plaque, which help to reduce pain and the progression of the plaque itself.

Shockwaves have two main characteristics: they can propagate in a liquid medium (1500m / sec in water) or gaseous (in the air) or solid, compact (the tissues of the human body) and carry energy.

These waves are produced by a handpiece that is placed on the body and can be transmitted to a well-located point or region of the body. The energy of the waves is discharged only in the targeted area without involving the nearby tissues. The biological action mechanism is not yet well clarified. The cells of the tissue affected by the shock waves are thought to be first compressed, due to the positive pressure deriving from the energy carried by the shock wave, and then expand due to the intrinsic tension properties, almost like a balloon inflated, creating microscopic bubbles, which induce a stress, an opening, of the cell membrane with release of angiogenetic factors.

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