Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy
For Peyronie's Disease
Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) or electroshock wave therapy is relatively safe non-invasive treatment option. However, as treatment for Peyronie's, extracorporeal shockwaves have not proved to be very effective option.
In this article, I explain what this therapy involves, benefits, downside and risk, along with references to scientific studies.
What Is Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy?
Extracorporeal shockwaves are high pressure, low frequency sound waves focused on the injured area, which is the penis plaque in the case of Peyronie's disease.
The shockwaves are applied by using external device, and the procedure can be performed under local anesthesia.
All things being equal, not having local anesthesia is not only safer and cheaper, there are some evidences that the use of anesthesia diminishes the effectiveness of the extracorporeal shockwaves.
Only qualified health professionals should perform extracorporeal shock wave therapy.
The shockwaves range from 2 - 3,000 per session. Men with Peyronie's usually undergo between 3 - 5 sessions (more than 10 sessions are usually not recommended).
Peyronie's shockwave treatment should only be considered for men that have already reached the stable stage, i.e. when the disease and its’ symptoms have stopped progressing.
How Does Peyronie's ESWT Work?
Peyronie's can be described as wound healing disorder with excessive scar tissue. The electroshock waves are believed to break down the scar tissue and calcification in the area by causing trauma and as such stimulate the healing process.
What Are The Benefits Of Extracorporeal
Shock Wave Therapy For Peyronie's Patients?
The biggest benefit of electroshock wave therapy is that it is non-invasive treatment. Furthermore, Peyronie's ESWT is considered adequately safe procedure, i.e. complication rate tends to be low and side effects relatively rare and mild.
What Is The Downside Of
Peyronie's Shockwave Treatment?
The biggest downside (and it is a big one) is the limited result electroshock wave therapy seems to have on the Peyronie's symptoms.
What Are The Side Effects Of
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy ?
Electroshock wave therapy is considered relatively safe procedure with only minor side effects. Potential side effects include skin bruising, redness, tingling and aching but these tend to be rare, mild and short lived.
Is There Health Risk Involved?
There appears to be no uncertainties regarding the safety of the procedure. Complication rate from Peyronie's shockwave treatment is low with only minor side effects. However, ESWT may damage the plaque and penile tissues and may cause additional scarring.
The Results Of Using
Electroshock Wave Therapy For Peyronie's Disease
Extracorporeal shockwaves have not been shown to be very effective treatment for Peyronie's disease.
Patients that suffer from painful erection because of the Peyronie's disease have reported the best results.
There is though no convincing evidence of Peyronie's ESWT reducing penile pain, penis curvature or sexual function. Electroshock wave therapy has not shown any benefit on the actual penis plaque size either.
Scientific Support For
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy
All the studies I have found confirm that uncertainties exits regarding the efficacy of electroshock wave therapy.
The uncertainty is based on lack of controlled data, the natural history of the disease, inter-patient variability, outcome measurement and placebo response. National Institute for Clinical Excellence therefore concludes:
“Current evidence on the safety of extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) for Peyronie's disease appears adequate. However, the evidence on the efficacy does not appear adequate to support the use of this procedure without special arrangements for consent and for audit or research” (NICE 2003)
This study on the long-term results of extracorporeal shock wave therapy in the treatment of Peyronie's disease concluded:
“ESWT is a non-invasive treatment for the Peyronie's disease. Our study confirms that the best results are obtained regarding pain and less with the curvature. For the plaque size and quality of sexual intercourse the results are not satisfactory” (Arch Ital Urol Androl. 2010)
While the following study goes as far as stating “extracorporeal shockwave therapy for Peyronie's disease does not correct penile deformity” and therefore do not recommend ESWT as primary treatment for men with Peyronie's disease:
“ESWT did reduce pain during erection in patients suffering mainly from painful erection due to PD. However, penile angulation did not improve significantly in our setup and thus intercourse difficulties did improve only in 28% of the patients. Therefore, we do not recommend ESWT as a primary treatment for PD” (International Journal of Impotence Research, 2004)
The latest study goes even further:
“Despite some potential benefit of ESWT in regard to pain reduction, it should be emphasized that pain usually resolves spontaneously with time. Given this and the fact that deviation may worsen with ESWT, this treatment cannot be recommended” (J. Sex Med 2013)
My Personal Experience
And Opinion Of Peyronie's ESWT
I do not have personal experience of using extracorporeal shockwaves for my Peyronie's disease.
The results of electroshock wave therapy are not only limited, the latest study shows that deviation may worsen with ESWT. Based on this I would rather other non-surgical Peyronie's treatments, e.g. Stretching Traction Device in conjunction with some form of medical treatment.
Have you used electroshock wave therapy in your fight against the Peyronie's disease?
If so, please use the form below and leave your Comments, or relevant practical advice to other Peyronie's sufferers.