It seems we are constantly being bombarded by news of rapidly increasing NHS waiting times, from national and regional news forecasts to social media. It’s inescapable.
But for people living with limiting conditions, such as Peyronie’s Disease, waiting can be both painful and distressing.
So, what does this mean for men worried about, or diagnosed, with Peyronie’s Disease?
What is Peyronie’s Disease?
Pronounced ‘pay- roe-neez,’ Peyronie’s Disease (PD) is a scar-forming condition which causes a range of unpleasant symptoms in men.
These generally include:
- Pain, especially during erections.
- Plaque formation and calcification, causing lumps in the penis.
- Penile curvature, narrowing, and shortening.
In more profound cases, it can also go on to cause:
- Erectile dysfunction.
- Difficulty or inability to engage in coitus.
As you would expect, this can make living with PD very challenging.
Peyronie’s Disease occurs over two phases, the first of which is the most painful and generally involves more waiting.
In the acute, or first phase, the penis receives a minor injury, which can be caused by playing sports, but it is more generally caused by overly vigorous sexual intercourse.
As such, a minor injury is caused in the tunica albuginea, in the inner penis.
This then leads to the development and build-up of fibrous inelastic scar tissue (called plaques) which are painful for the patient.
The plaques or scarring causes the penis to abnormally curve, narrow, and shorten as it develops and calcifies, over a period of 5-7 months (in best cases) or 6-18 months, in the worst.
During this phase, men experience physical pain and can become increasingly psychologically and mentally distressed.
The chronic, or second phase, is thankfully much easier to bear than the acute phase.
This is because:
- Plaques will stop forming.
- The penis will stop bending.
- Pain will cease.
Prolonged waiting- on the NHS and during the acute phase of PD
PD is a classic example of how waiting, although essential, can be very hard to endure.
Men diagnosed with PD are likely to be told to wait at least 12 months, but sometimes up to 2- years after the disease was noticed, before undergoing surgical treatment to remove the plaque and straighten the penis.
This is for a range of reasons, including:
1. Data suggests some men will recover from PD without treatment.
13% of men diagnosed with PD will find that the condition goes away without treatment, according to the American Urology Care Foundation.
However, Cambridge University Hospital state that spontaneous improvement in the disease is seen in 60- 70% of patients, though they do not clearly define if improvement means the condition completely goes away or merely becomes easier to live with.
- This means patients with physical pain and limiting symptoms can be left for up to 2 years before surgical treatment to correct the disease is considered.
2. Men are happy to try non-surgical options despite the lack of proven effectiveness.
There is a range of non-surgical treatment options given to some men diagnosed with PD. This is despite the lack of scientifically proven effectiveness of the treatments.
These “treatments” include a range of medications, such as:
- Vitamin E tablets.
- Para-aminobenzoate (Potaba®) tablets.
- Injection treatments including dimethyl sulfoxide, steroids, collagenase, and calcium channel blockers, are injected directly into the plaques.
There are treatments, however, as explained by Cambridge University Hospital, lack proven effectiveness, rendering them useless.
- This means patients may have to endure ineffective treatment options while they are waiting in the hopes that they can avoid worsening symptoms or invasive operations.
Are waiting times for men with Peyronie’s Disease set to increase on the NHS?
While men across the country wait their allotted 1-2 years to see if their PD will disappear by itself, the worsening condition of our NHS looks set to ensure patients may actually be waiting much longer for any form of treatment.
Recent industrial action and strikes, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and general problems with understaffing and towering levels of need will, of course, lead to an increase in waiting times for non-urgent procedures.
PD does not often affect urination or general day-to-day life for men so is not likely to be considered a priority, despite the devastating psychological and physical consequences for patients.
So, what can diagnosed men do?
Private treatment rapidly reduces waiting time and improves procedure options for Peyronie’s Disease.
The next logical step for men unable to live with the symptoms of PD is to consider private healthcare.
While many will worry that they will be priced out of privately funded procedures, there is a range of finance options available for patients to consider.
At Moorgate, this includes pay-monthly options you can spread over a 5- year period, with low-interest rates from 3% APR.
Similarly, patients may find a range of Peyronie’s Disease surgery options available from private providers, such as Moorgate Andrology, that are simply not available on the NHS, despite their scientifically proven improved results.
This includes the Stage Technique, which when considered alongside the Nesbit procedure available on the NHS, helps men to:
- Retain more sensation.
- Protect or increase penile length and girth.
- Lose less penile strength.
- Experience less reoccurrence.
- Improve straightening rates.
Most importantly, however, is the decrease in waiting times men with PD will experience from private hospitals.
Unlike with the NHS, men looking for treatment with Moorgate Andrology could expect to be considering their treatment options after the penis has not increased the degree of curvature in 3 months, which could be over a year sooner.
Contact Moorgate Andrology today for help with Peyronie’s Disease
With a range of financing options, more successful, effective treatments, and world-renowned clinicians with decades of experience in treating Peyronie’s Disease, Moorgate Andrology welcomes men with Peyronie’s Disease to come forward for consultation.
From there your personal urologist will explain the treatment options that are available to you, based on your symptoms and the stage of your disease.
This can significantly reduce your waiting time by months, maybe even years, allowing you to live normally and confidently once again. We have a range of clinics across the country so find your nearest location and reach out today. Alternatively, you can fill in our enquiry form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.