Wednesday, April 10, 2024

How To Stop Incontinence After Prostate Removal

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What If The Incontinence Does Not Improve Or Is Bothersome

How Long Should Men Wait to Treat Incontinence after Prostate Cancer Surgery?

If you have a bothersome amount of incontinence or if it does not improve with the above measures, many men will benefit from seeing an incontinence practitioner. There is a wide range of treatments available.

Once you decide to see an incontinence practitioner, be prepared to answer questions regarding the type of symptoms you are having, the number and type of pads you might be using, and previous treatments you have had for prostate cancer and for incontinence. You should be honest about how much the incontinence bothers you, and how willing you are to have additional treatments, potentially including surgical procedures.

During your first visit, the incontinence specialist will take your history and perform an exam. You will likely be asked to give a urine sample to rule out infection or blood in the urine. A “bladder scan” is often done in the office to see if you are completely emptying your bladder when you urinate.

The incontinence specialist will likely discuss more conservative treatments at first. A more rigorous pelvic floor exercise program might be recommended. You may also be given a biofeedback machine that allows you to see how strong your pelvic floor muscles are. The specialist may also discuss various medication therapies.

How To Stop Incontinence After Prostate Removal

particularly during radical prostatectomyremoval of the entire gland and surrounding tissuesoften damages the muscles that control urination, But sometimes, cough, is worn externally to control incontinence in men after prostate cancer treatment, The guideline, these nerves and tissues are damaged during surgery, surgery may result in rectal damage, And sometimes its not up to the challenge, and for severe incontinence, The AUS has three parts: An inflatable cuff that is placed around the upper urethra, Kegel exercise strengthens the group of muscles called the pelvic floor muscles (also known as PC muscles which

What If These Treatments Do Not Work

If these interventions do not work, you may be referred to a urologist for additional tests on your bladder and sphincter. These tests will determine what type of incontinence you have, how well your bladder is working, and what other treatments might be best for you. This often involves a urodynamic test and a cystoscopy. Both of these procedures are performed in the office, usually during the same visit. They provide your urologist with specific information to help find which procedure might be best for you.

The urodyamics test involves placing a very small catheter in your bladder. This catheter fills the bladder with fluid and measures bladder activity and pressure during filling and voiding . You will also be asked to cough and strain so your provider can see if and how easily you leak urine.

A cystoscopy may also be performed to look at the urethra, the anastomosis , and the bladder. After these tests, your provider will go over the results with you and recommend which treatments are best suited for your condition.

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Conservative And Pharmacologic Therapy

Although there is conflicting evidence regarding the importance of conservative treatment after post-prostatectomy urinary incontinence , pelvic floor muscle training is still considered as the first treatment choice . Duloxetin, a serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, either alone or in combination with PFMT, may hasten recovery of urinary incontinence but is often associated with severe gastrointestinal and central nervous side effects . However, neither PFMT nor duloxetine may cure male stress urinary incontinence.

Urine Leakage Long After Prostate Removal

Urinary Incontinence After Prostate Cancer Surgery

Leaking urine after prostate surgery is a common problem. Most men report gradual improvement over several months following surgery. However, some men remain incontinent. Certain types of incontinence can be improved with conservative treatment.

There are two main types of incontinence following prostate surgery: urge incontinence and stress incontinence.

I have to go now! Urge incontinence occurs when there is a strong urge to urinate followed by urine leakage. The strong urge to urinate usually indicates an overactive bladder. The prostate is located below the bladder, around the urethra. Some prostate conditions involve slow growth of the prostate resulting in narrowing of the urethra. The bladder must contract strongly to empty through a narrow urethra. This can cause the bladder to become irritable. Unfortunately, in some cases, the bladder remains irritable after the urethra is opened with a prostatectomy.

There are several conservative treatments for urgency. Bladder training involves urinating in the toilet on a timed schedule. Techniques are used to avoid urinating too often. Pelvic floor muscle exercise can also help relax the bladder. Some types of fluid also irritate the bladder and should be eliminated from the diet. A combination of treatments is usually most helpful.

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Does Incontinence Happen If I Treat Prostate Cancer With Radiation

Some men need radiation therapy after prostate removal. During radiation therapy, some of the normal tissues around the urinary sphincter, urethra and bladder may be exposed, causing irritation to occur post therapy, leading to incontinence. This typically subsides within a few months after radiation therapy, however if it persists, additional treatments described below may be helpful.

Treatment Options For Post

Loss of bladder control after prostate surgery is a devastating complication, which has a significant negative impact on quality of life. The good news is that with appropriate evaluation and treatment, the incontinence problem is usually treatable with significant improvement in quality of life.

It is not unusual that lack of bladder control is a problem for the first few months following radical prostatectomy. A biofeedback program may be helpful during this time period to help restore bladder control. When urinary incontinence persists more than 3-6 months after radical prostatectomy, appropriate bladder testing, called urodynamics, is critical to evaluate the function of the bladder and sphincter muscle to determine the exact cause of the post-prostatectomy incontinence . This urodynamic testing is performed in the office and takes about 20 minutes. The test involves filling the bladder through a special catheter inserted in the penis while measuring the pressures in the bladder. During the test, various maneuvers are performed to evaluate the bladder function, demonstrate the urinary incontinence, and thus specifically define the cause of the urine loss.

Normally, as the bladder fills to capacity, there is very little change in bladder pressure and the sphincter remains closed allowing the man to stay dry. When incontinence occurs following prostatectomy, this normal balance of bladder and sphincter function is disturbed.

Treatment Options:

Male Sling Procedure

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Discreet Incontinence Pads Made For Men

Cup-like Shape

Depend Guards have a cup-like shape designed to fit a manâÂÂs body without the extra bulk.


The Comfort-Flex leak barriers provide comfortable protection when active for larger surges of wetness.

Strong Adhesive

Pads lock in place to the inside of briefs or boxer briefs. Each pad provides odor control.

Table : Impotence And Incontinence

Kegel Exercises for Men AFTER Prostate Surgery

The reported statistics on the likelihood of developing impotence or incontinence after prostate cancer treatment vary widely, as shown by the ranges below.

Procedure 30%50% 2%

How did the operation go? And when did it become apparent that you might take longer to recover than you had been led to believe?

The operation went fine. I went back to work very quickly, and in most respects I felt fine. I was incontinent immediately after surgery, but I was led to believe that the problem would straighten itself out within a few weeks or months. But it didnt.

Did you share your concerns about incontinence with your surgeon?

I did, during follow-up visits after the surgery. I probably visited him three to four times during the first six months after surgery. He told me the problem would get better, and for the first month or two, I believed that. But as time went on, nothing was getting any better.

And he didnt seem to care. In a typical visit, I waited a half hour or an hour to see him for literally five minutes, and then he moved on to the next person. So I finally gave up on him.

What sort of problems were you experiencing?

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Bladder Incontinence In Women

Bladder incontinence is more common in women than in men. Other than the possible causes listed above, some things that may increase risk of bladder incontinence in women are:

  • Changes to urinary or vaginal tissue from hormone therapy, surgery, chemotherapy, or targeted therapy
  • Hormonal changes from menopause
  • Pelvic prolapse – the bladder, uterus, and or rectum may slip backward or downward into the vaginal canal because of weak pelvic wall muscles
  • Pregnancy
  • Hysterectomy

How Can Prostate Surgery Affect Urination

Prostate surgery may be a partial or radical prostatectomy, which is the removal of some or all of the prostate gland, respectively. This is a very delicate operation, and the urethra, bladder, rectum, or urinary sphincter may become damaged in the process.

Because the urethra travels right through the prostate to move urine from the bladder to the penis, the urethra must be cut above and below the prostate in a radical prostatectomy. Once the prostate is removed, the urethra is then reattached directly to the bladder. The man must have a catheter while this area heals.

Moreover, the nerves and muscles in the area may also become damaged. All of this can cause urine to leak, especially when stress is put on the area. You can easily see why stress urinary incontinence is so common after having prostate surgery.

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Living With Bowel Or Bladder Incontinence

There is no single, right way to cope with bladder or bowel incontinence. The challenge is to find what is best for your situation, so you can get the help you need and return to a normal daily life. Talk with your health care team if you notice a change in bowel or bladder habits, and about the best ways to manage incontinence, if it is a problem. You might find it helpful to talk with other people who are dealing with incontinence, too. Ask a member of your cancer care team about support groups in your area.

Here are some things you can do that may help make incontinence less of a problem:

  • Empty your bladder every 3 to 4 hours while awake, to avoid accidents.
  • Empty your bladder before bedtime or before strenuous activity.
  • Limit drinks with caffeine, or and avoid alcohol and citrus juices, which can irritate the bladder and make you have to go more often.
  • Avoid hygiene products that may irritate you Women should avoid feminine spray or over-the-counter vaginal suppositories.
  • Because belly fat can push on the bladder, avoiding weight gain or losing needed weight sometimes helps improve bladder control.
  • Avoid tobacco use which can cause coughing and bladder irritation due to harmful substances in tobacco products.
  • Talk to your doctor about all medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements youre taking. Some may affect urine control.

Questions To Ask Your Doctor Or Nurse

Latest and Painless Surgery for Enlarged Prostate with ...
  • Is the treatment Im having for prostate cancer likely to cause any urinary problems?
  • What type of urinary problems might I get?
  • What should I do if I cant urinate?
  • Will my urinary problems get better?
  • What treatments are available?
  • What are the risks and side effects of treatments for urinary problems?
  • What can I do to help myself?
  • Where can I get pads and other products?

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Problems After High Intensity Focused Ultrasound

Youre more likely to get urinary problems after HIFU if youve already had other treatments for prostate cancer. Possible urinary problems include:

  • difficulty urinating
  • urine infections.

Difficulty urinating

HIFU usually causes the prostate to swell for a week or two, so youll have a catheter to drain urine from your bladder until the swelling has gone. HIFU can also cause the urethra to become narrow, making it difficult to empty your bladder .

Leaking urine

HIFU can cause some men to leak urine when they cough, sneeze or exercise . This may be more likely if youve already had radiotherapy. There are ways to manage leaking urine.

Urine infections

Some men get a urine infection after HIFU. If this happens, youll be given a course of antibiotics to clear the infection.

Read more about urine infections in our fact sheet, Urinary problems after prostate cancer treatment.

Expected Sequence Of Return To Continence

From my readings and experience the sequence of return to continence will be: while standing, while walking on a flat surface, while walking uphill, while walking downhill, while running and while playing tennis, while coughing and sneezing. There is a significant improvement when one reaches the next stage but it one doesnt reach 100% continence at that stage. Instead, there are phases of return to continence, such as initially 20 percent continence while standing/ walking, then 90 percent, and so on. Some minor leakage will occur in previous stages for a few weeks till the body masters these earlier stages.

Note, for the latter, also include yawning. Big yawnscan prompt leakage. Addendum 20 April 2018: Finally, I have found that while control is getting better even while sneezing, etc., there is one posture which seems to open up the sphincter. Obviously I dont do such extreme backward bend, but even a bit of this type of bend still remains to be overcome. Posture illustrated below .

Addendum 18 May 2018: Leaks are continuing in odd postures, e.g. while bending forward while standing near a hand dryer. Also while bending backward . And when bladder is full while getting up from bed.

  • slides here. At three months Im mostly continent while walking uphill.

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Statistics On Incontinence After Surgery

A large number of men experience incontinence after a total prostatectomy, at least temporarily. For some lucky few, the incontinence will end in a short time, others will suffer for a few months, and some may live with it permanently.

Many doctors tend to maximize the small number of patients that have few problems and ignore the larger numbers that have permanent dysfunction.

Generally, a Foley catheter is inserted during or just before the surgery to take care of temporary incontinence caused by the surgery. This device will be left in the patient for about a week after surgery.

A Foley catheter is a flexible tube that is passed through the penis and into the bladder to drain urine. It is held in place in the bladder by a small balloon inflated at insertion time. Its other end connects to a collection bag. It is an indwelling urinary catheter designed for short-term use.

On a follow-up visit after surgery, the surgeon will remove the Foley catheter, and the man can attempt natural voiding. In many cases, natural voiding is unsuccessful, and the catheter is left in for another cycle. Usually, the patient is introduced to absorbent pads as a temporary measure until natural voiding is successful.

Exercise Your Pelvic Floor Muscles

Fixing Urinary Leakage After Prostate Cancer Surgery | Ask A Prostate Expert, Mark Scholz, MD

Learning how to control the pelvic floor muscles can speed up the recovery process and reduce leakage. If you don’t strengthen these muscles, the leakage may persist.

Please note: Performing pelvic floor muscle exercises before and after prostate surgery is vital to your recovery. Resume pelvic floor exercises once the catheter has been removed to avoid bladder irritation and discomfort. It is recommended that you seek help from a mens, womens and pelvic health physiotherapist, Nurse Continence Specialist, or urology nurse to learn the correct technique.

More information about the pelvic floor muscles can be found on our pelvic floor and male pelvic floor pages. You can also learn more about pelvic floor friendly exercises at

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What Is Urinary Incontinence In Men

Urinary incontinence is the accidental release of urine. It’s not a disease. It’s a symptom of a problem with a man’s urinary tract.

Urine is made by the kidneys and stored in a sac made of muscle, called the urinary bladder. A tube called the urethra leads from the bladder through the prostate and penis to the outside of the body. Around this tube is a ring of muscles called the urinary sphincter. As the bladder fills with urine, nerve signals tell the sphincter to stay squeezed shut while the bladder stays relaxed. The nerves and muscles work together to prevent urine from leaking out of the body.

When you have to urinate, the nerve signals tell the muscles in the walls of the bladder to squeeze. This forces urine out of the bladder and into the urethra. At the same time the bladder squeezes, the urethra relaxes. This allows urine to pass through the urethra and out of the body.

Incontinence can happen for many reasons:

  • If your bladder squeezes at the wrong time, or if it squeezes too hard, urine may leak out.
  • If the muscles around the urethra are damaged or weak, urine can leak out even if you don’t have a problem with your bladder squeezing at the wrong time.
  • You can also have incontinence if your bladder doesn’t empty when it should. This leaves too much urine in the bladder. If the bladder gets too full, urine will leak out when you don’t want it to.
  • If something is blocking your urethra, urine can build up in the bladder and cause leaking.

How Long Does Urinary Incontinence After Prostate Surgery Last

It’s impossible to say exactly how long it lasts. The chances of you having urinary problems may be influenced by your age, weight and the physical characteristics of your urethra .

However, a majority of men are eventually continent after a radical prostatectomy. In many cases, men are able to go safely without any kind of incontinence product after about three months. This is especially true of men who are healthy overall and fall into the age range of 40 to 60 years. If you are having persistent problems, its important to know that there are ways to treat urinary incontinence after prostate surgery.

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