To evaluate whether extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) offers an effective treatment for the main complications of Peyronie’s disease (PD), that is, penile deformity and angulation, painful erection and most importantly unsatisfied sexual intercourse. From September 1999 to January 2001, 52 patients with PD were treated with ESWT. Pain during erection was assessed with a visual analogue scale. Penile deviation was determined by photographs with a goniometer. Five treatment sessions were performed at weekly intervals. Each consisted of 3000 shockwaves with an emission frequency of 120 shockwaves/min and a mean intensity of 0.17 mJ/mm(2). A Storz Minilith SL 1 with integrated inline ultrasound probe was used. In all, 52 patients were evaluated 6 weeks after ESWT for early follow-up. Before ESWT intercourse was difficult or impossible for 40 men; 29 patients suffered mainly from penile deformity, 14 from painful erection and eight mainly from loss of distal rigidity. A total of 30 patients mentioned painful erection before treatment. In 28 patients (93%) pain reduction was achieved. A total relief of pain was observed in 19 patients (63%). Mean pain score dropped from 4.2 to 1.3 in patients who suffered predominantly from painful erections. Intercourse satisfaction improved in 11 patients after therapy. Mean angulation before (40 degrees ) and after (37 degrees ) ESWT did not change significantly. Late follow-up after 11.1 months (4-17 months) could be completed in 36 patients. In total, 19 men reported that ESWT improved their PD. Of these, 16 noted no change. Only one of the patients noticed a worsening of his disease during or after treatment. Complication rate was low with only minor side effects such as minimal skin bruising; one urethral bleeding occurred. 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.