Options and honest, caring conversations guide Dennis to successful Peyronie’s disease treatment

Amy Pearlman, MD, talks with Dennis about his treatment options.
Dennis credits the “knowledgeable, confident, and compassionate” approach of Amy Pearlman, MD, in helping him make the right decisions about his Peyronie’s care.

Dennis Wallace noticed a curve in his penis in 2018. The change wasn’t painful, but eventually it made intimacy with his wife difficult.

Dennis, 58, of Dubuque, Iowa, visited a local urologist who diagnosed him with Peyronie’s disease, a condition in which scar tissue under the skin of the penis causes the shaft to curve when erect.

After a year of treatment, Dennis’s condition didn’t improve. The curvature had increased, and his urologist didn’t have any other options to help him.

Dennis asked to be referred to Male Sexual Dysfunction services at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, where urologist Amy Pearlman, MD, helped him consider all of the options and find a treatment that worked best for him.

Six months later, after just one round of treatment, the curvature in Dennis's penis had decreased measurably.

“Dr. Amy talked to me and explained things in terms I understood,” Dennis says. “She made me feel very comfortable. I knew I was going to have the best of the best.”

Struggling to find the best Peyronie’s care

Even before Dennis was diagnosed with Peyronie’s disease, he tried to find answers about his condition online. He wasn’t the only one looking. He connected with people from all over the world through Facebook groups.

He discovered that many men were feeling anxiety about their condition but were also reluctant to seek treatment. And those who did seek treatment had difficulty finding doctors who could provide clear information about the treatments available. Doctors who actually offered multiple treatment options were even more scarce.

After being diagnosed by his local urologist, Dennis followed the doctor’s standard treatment—prescription medication, vitamin supplements, and stretching exercises—for almost a year. The approach wasn’t effective, and the curvature progressed to 45 degrees.

That’s when he asked for the referral to UI Hospitals & Clinics, where Pearlman offered Dennis the deep knowledge and straightforward talk that so many men were seeking but could not find. She described the full range of options—including surgical procedures and injections—and provided the details of each approach and what kind of results he could expect from each.

She explained things in terms I understood. I finally found someone knowledgeable, confident, and compassionate. I felt comfortable deciding to go with the injections.

— Dennis Wallace

Dennis chose injections of Xiaflex, a medication that breaks down the scar tissue that causes the penis to curve, and the results of his first round of treatment showed a decrease in curvature of 10 degrees.

A plan for Peyronie’s and for better overall health

Pearlman says Dennis’s experience demonstrates how important it is to get care from a provider who specializes in the condition. A man who is struggling to figure out what to do about Peyronie’s needs to have a frank discussion with a doctor who can answer all of his questions and help him make an informed choice.

They can be tough conversations because there’s no guarantee treatment will provide the results the patient is hoping for. I don’t sugarcoat anything. I explain every option with its pluses and minuses and talk with them about what they can expect. My job is to educate patients so they understand in a way that makes it easier to decide what works for them.

That kind of patient-focused care and attention gave Dennis the opportunity to discuss his other health concerns, and Pearlman helped him with referrals to see other specialists for those issues. Now Dennis has a plan for his whole health, beyond his success with Peyronie’s treatment.

“Everything about my health is going in the right direction because of Dr. Amy,” Dennis says. “If I hadn’t gone to UI Health Care and met Dr. Amy and the staff, I wouldn’t be this happy.”

Hometown
Dubuque, Iowa