Peyronie’s disease is a form of erectile dysfunction that is caused when scar tissue, or plaque, causes a buildup of collagen inside the penis, making it bend when erect. This curvature may create difficulty getting and maintaining an erection, pain during intercourse, or problems with urination.
The cause of scar tissue formation in some men is not 100 percent clear, but many physicians believe it is due to a previous trauma or genetics in some cases. This condition is more common in men who are middle-aged, and risk increases as men get older.
One form of treatment for Peyronie’s disease is injection of the drug Xiaflex. Doctors prescribe FDA-approved Xiaflex for the treatment of Peyronie’s because the active ingredients break up collagen. If you have a penile curvature of more than 30 degrees when erect, your physician may recommend treatment with Xiaflex. If so, you may want to know more about how Xiaflex works and whether your Medicare benefits cover its cost.
What to Know About Peyronie’s Disease
Statistics show that between 1 and 23 men who are aged 40 to 70, have higher instances of Peyronie’s disease. The numbers cover a wide range because many men are embarrassed about their condition and do not seek treatment or advice from a physician.
Men who may be at a higher risk include those who have connective tissue disorders due to heredity, or who have a close family member who has Peyronie’s or Dupuytren’s contractures, which is another type of connective tissue disorder. Also at risk are those who have injured the penis in an accident, through sports, or during sex. Having high blood sugar or smoking may also increase the risk for Peyronie’s.
How Does Xiaflex Treat Peyronie’s Disease?
Your health care provider injects Xiaflex into the area of your penis where the plaque is concentrated and causing the curvature. The active ingredients of collagenase clostridiums histolyticum work to weaken and gradually break down the plaque. These injections, along with stretching and massaging, may help relieve the curvature of your penis.
Medicare Coverage of Xiaflex
For men who have a penile curvature during erection that exceeds 30 degrees and hinders normal sexual function, Medicare may help cover the cost of treatment with Xiaflex injections.
For your Medicare Part B benefits to cover treatment, your health care provider must administer the Xiaflex injections into the affected area of your penis. This procedure must be done in a medical facility or physician’s office on an outpatient basis. The health care provider must accept Medicare assignment.
Because Xiaflex is not a medication that you can take or inject at home by yourself, Medicare Part B covers 80 percent of the final approved cost. You pay the remaining 20 percent of that cost, and you are responsible for your Part B deductible of $185.00 (as of 2019).
If your physician and urologist have suggested that treatment with Xiaflex is something you should consider, Medicare benefits may cover the cost of injections and the physician’s office visits for administration of the injections.