Sunday, July 21, 2024

How To Stop Urine Leakage After Prostate Surgery

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What Types Of Incontinence Can Happen After Rp

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

There are two main types of urinary incontinence after RP:

  • Urgency incontinence is when you feel the need or urge to urinate but cannot make it to the toilet in time. This is often due to bladder spasms and medication can help. This type of incontinence is caused by changes in the way the bladder behaves after surgery.
  • Stress urinary incontinence is leakage of urine with movement or effort and can happen when you cough, sneeze, lift something heavy, change position, or exercise. This type of incontinence may be caused by damage to your external sphincter muscle. Almost all men will have some degree of SUI right after their urinary catheter is taken out. A urinary catheter is placed short term to collect urine during and while recovering from surgery. You may be taught how to do pelvic floor exercises to help with urinary control.

Dealing With Prostate Cancer

Being diagnosed and living with prostate cancer can change how you feel about life. If you or your loved one is dealing with prostate cancer you may feel scared, stressed or even angry. There is no right way to feel and everyone reacts differently.

Visit our wellbeing hub for information to help support you in looking after your emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing. If you are close to someone with prostate cancer, find out more about how you can support someone with prostate cancer and where to get more information.

‘just Cant Wait’ Card

You can get a card to show to staff in shops or pubs etc. It allows you to use their toilets, without them asking awkward questions. You can get the cards from Disability Rights UK or the Bladder and Bowel Community. They also have a map of all the public toilets in the UK.

You could get a key to disabled toilets if you need to access them quickly. You buy the RADAR key from Disability Rights UK. But this should only be used by people who need quick access to a disabled toilet due to a disability or medical condition.


  • Find out where the toilets are.
  • Take extra pads and spare underwear.
  • Organise a Just cant wait card or key for disabled toilets if you need it.
  • Do your pelvic floor exercises regularly.

Read Also: What Does Having Prostate Removed Mean

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.

Why Is Radical Prostatectomy Done

How to Treat Urinary Incontinence After Prostate Surgery

Radical prostatectomy is a treatment for prostate cancer that prevents cancer from spreading outside the prostate gland. It may cure prostate cancer by removing it completely.

For patients diagnosed with prostate cancer, additional tests may be needed to determine the how far the cancer has spread. These tests help your provider decide if you are a candidate for radical prostatectomy:

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Also Check: What To Expect After Prostate Is Removed

How To Do The Male Kegel Exercises

*Male Kegel exercise is best done after emptying your bladder. * Tighten the muscles you located above and hold for 3 to 5 seconds, or as long as you can at first. As these muscles get stronger, you will able to hold them longer. * Relax for 3 to 5 seconds or for as long as you tightened the muscles, then repeat. * Breathe normally. * Do 5 to 7 exercises at a time, 3 times a day minimum. As you get stronger, increase up to 15 exercises at a time, 4 times a day. * In addition for more advanced exercises, you might consider incorporating a series of quick flexes into this routine of long flexes. For example, perform 30 quick rapidly. Then 1 long contraction for as long as you can. Then repeat. Add more repetitions as you get stronger. * The key, as with any physical training, is to set up a consistent routine and to perform the exercise properly.

Climacturia: Leaking Urine During Sex

Meeting the treatment expectations of men who have been left impotent and incontinent after prostate removal for cancer requires a careful understanding of their priorities. Understanding patients allows us to embark on a step-by-step approach to address each problem. I was taught by one of my mentors that it is often difficult to treat a mans impotence if he is still leaking urine, especially when this occurs during arousal and sexual activity. We call this climacturia, and most men are never told that it will happen after their prostate is removed.

Nearly all men after prostate surgery have experienced some leakage during arousal. Fortunately for most men, as they regain control of urination, fewer men continue to have leakage during sex. For obvious reasons, many couples are bothered by actual urine leakage, but climacturia is also associated with shame and embarrassment. This can lead to men and couples avoiding being intimate, prevention of good erections, and frustration in a relationship.

Being aware of a few simple practices has the potential to reduce how much this type of incontinence can affect intimacy:

  • Keep an open mind and be creative
  • Remember to do your Kegel exercises
  • Empty your bladder before engaging in sexual activity
  • Have hand/paper towels nearby
  • Consider using a condom to catch drips
  • Experiment with different positions
  • Where do we go when this doesnt solve or settle the issue?

  • Have a discussion with a urologist
  • Image attribution

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    How Incontinence Happens

    Before discussing how to deal with urinary incontinence, its important to understand the mechanics behind it: when you urinate, a sphincter muscle at the end of your bladder remains closed, acting as a valve to stop the flow of urine.

    When you urinate, this sphincter relaxes to let the urine pass through. Often, this valve does not open properly when it should due to injury or other factors, causing incontinence.

    Risk Of Bias Assessment

    Kegel Exercises for Men AFTER Prostate Surgery

    The Newcastle Ottawa scale, which evaluates cohort selection, comparability and outcomes assessment, was used for non-randomized controlled trials . The Cochrane risk of bias tool which evaluates random sequence generation, allocation concealment, blinding, and attrition was used for evaluation of RCTs.

    Also Check: What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer

    How Long Does Urinary Incontinence Last After A Prostatectomy

    Its impossible to predict exactly how long incontinence may last because each man is different. Incontinence can be affected by your:

    • Level of bladder control before surgery

    Symptoms may last a few months to a year, and sometimes longer. Youll typically go back to your normal state within 12 months, according to the AUA.

    Prostate cancer treatment: The care you need is one call away

    Your multidisciplinary team will work with you to develop a personalized plan to treat your prostate cancer in a way that fits your individual needs and goals.

    Determination Of Evidence Strength

    The categorization of evidence strength is conceptually distinct from the quality of individual studies. Evidence strength refers to the body of evidence available for a particular question and includes individual study quality in addition to consideration of study design consistency of findings across studies adequacy of sample sizes and generalizability of samples, settings, and treatments for the purposes of the guideline. Investigators graded the strength of evidence for key comparisons and outcomes for each Key Question, using the approach described in the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Evidence-based Practice Center Methods Guide for Comparative Effectiveness and Effectiveness Reviews.1 Strength of evidence assessments were based on the following domains:

    • Study limitations, based on the overall risk of bias across studies
    • Consistency of results across studies
    • Directness of the evidence linking the intervention and health outcomes
    • Precision of the estimate of effect, based on the number and size of studies and confidence intervals for the estimates
    • Reporting bias, based on whether or not the studies defined and reported primary outcomes and whether or not we identified relevant unpublished studies

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    What Happens Right After Prostate Surgery

    After surgery, youll stay in the hospital for a day or two. You may feel sore, but nurses will encourage you to get up as soon as possible. Walking helps your body start to recover from the surgery and function normally again.

    Your doctor may prescribe pain medicine for a few days immediately following surgery. After that, youll switch to over-the-counter pain meds.

    Why Prostate Surgery Causes Incontinence

    Bladder control

    Your bladder stores urine until your brain signals its time to release it. The urethra is a tube that transports urine from your bladder to the outside of your body. There are two valves, called sphincters, on your urethra that open to release urine.

    Your prostate gland surrounds your urethra and is located near one of those sphincters, and when you have your prostate removed, one of your sphincters is removed as well. Most of the time, having one functioning valve to hold in or release urine may be sufficient, but in some cases the nerves and muscles in the area are affected and urinary incontinence is the result. Prostate removal surgery may include complete removal for cancer or partial removal to treat an enlarged prostate.

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    Why Does Prostate Surgery Cause Urinary Incontinence

    Understanding the issue of urinary incontinence after prostate surgery helps to understand the bladder and the job it performs. This hollow, muscular, balloon-shaped organ holds urine which the kidneys produce after filtering waste material in the blood. Urine will travel down the ureters, tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder. Once the bladder fills with urine, a person gets the urge to eliminate the urine, which happens through a tube called the urethra. The prostate gland surrounds the urethra, but removing the prostate during surgery may disrupt the bladder that holds urine, resulting in urine leakage.

    How Can Radiation Therapy After Prostatectomy Affect Incontinence

    Some men need radiation after a prostatectomy. This treats the “prostate bed” . Some normal tissue will receive a low dose of radiation, including the external urinary sphincter. The radiation may irritate the external sphincter, urethra, and bladder during radiation therapy and for a short time after. This can lead to worsening incontinence that often gets better in the weeks to months after radiation. Some men may have more incontinence in the months to years after radiation therapy due to the buildup of scar tissue. This can cause the external sphincter to not open and close as it should.

    Read Also: How To Determine Prostate Cancer Stage

    What Treatments Are Available To Me If My Incontinence Doesnt Go Away After A Year

    While kegels and behavioral therapy work well for most men with mild to moderate leaking, they may not be completely effective for some. Luckily, there are still some options for treating bladder leakage after prostate surgery.

    Another surgery is sometimes needed when bladder leaks persist for more than a year after surgery. This may consist of having a urethral sling procedure, or an artificial urinary sphincter.

    With a urethral sling procedure, a synthetic mesh tape is implanted to support the urethra. Up to an 80% improvement has been seen with this procedure and some men stop leaking completely.

    An artificial urinary sphincter is used in patients who have more severe urinary incontinence that is not improving, or for those patients who may have had a lot of damage to the sphincter muscle after prostate surgery. An artificial urinary sphincter is a mechanical ring that helps close the exit from the bladder.

    As will all surgeries, these come with pros and cons and potential complications. Be sure to discuss these options with your doctor.

    What Happens After Urethral Sling Surgery

    Sling for Urinary Incontinence after Prostate Surgery

    Patients usually recover from this surgery quickly. It’s best to limit demanding activities for approximately six weeks after surgery to avoid having the sling loosen before healing is complete.

    After surgery, there may be swelling that makes it difficult to urinate. You’ll have a catheter coming out of the urethra for two to three days. After this, the catheter is removed and just about everyone is able to void on their own. In rare cases, the catheter may have to be reinserted for a few days or up to a week if you cannot urinate.

    After the swelling goes down, youll gradually be able to urinate on your own and empty your bladder. However, your normal urination pattern may not return for a few weeks.

    The majority of men who’ve had this procedure have been cured of their urinary incontinence and no longer use pads. The others usually improve to the point where they don’t use as many pads as they were before.

    Also Check: What Happens After They Remove Your Prostate

    Future Perspectives And Conclusions

    Prostate cancer is one of the most problematic and frequently encountered malignancies in male patients. It often occurs when men are still in the active period of their lives. Consequently, there is a high demand for minimally invasive therapeutic approaches, susceptible of preserving urinary continence and sexual function. Unfortunately, stress urinary incontinence is a common adverse event in men with localized or locally advanced prostate cancer undergoing radical prostatectomy, but also secondary to radiotherapy and to cryosurgery .

    Despite rehabilitative procedures such as pelvic floor muscle training, biofeedback, electrical stimulation, lifestyle changes, or a combination of these strategies, no fully efficient treatment alternative has yet been established for this pathology . On the other hand, it should be acknowledged that nursing care, including the understanding of the patient’s needs, education, and psychosocial support remain essential features while aiming to improve the quality of life of prostate cancer patients.

    What To Expect From Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

    At Freedom Physical Therapy Services, we have trained specialists to help you with the following:

    • Provide education about the muscles that keep urine from coming out
    • Teach you how to perform a proper pelvic floor muscle contraction
    • Provide education on appropriate bladder habits and schedule
    • Instruct you in exercises to help improve the strength and flexibility of other muscles that influence good bladder control
    • Provide education on post-operative care

    We would be happy to help you or a loved one before and after prostate removal! Please call our front desk to schedule an appointment at . Or, request an appointment here.

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    Sling Surgeries And Procedures

    These procedures involve an incision between the scrotum and the rectum into which a supportive sling is installed under and around the urethra.

    The principle is to place pressure on the urethra to help it remain closed and retain urine until the bladder fills. Typically, the sling is anchored to the pelvic bone on each side to maintain tension.

    Several types of sling procedures exist, using different materials for the sling itself, but the efficacy of all of them is similar. This is a surgical procedure that involves a short hospital stay and has the same risks as other similar surgical procedures.

    If a general anesthetic was used, patients would usually need to stay in the hospital for at least 3 to 4 hours after the procedure. If there are any problems passing urine after the procedure, an overnight hospital stay might be needed.

    Recovery time for sling surgery varies. Most doctors recommend at least 2 to 4 weeks before returning to activities that include any heavy lifting or strenuous exercise. Sling procedures are heavily promoted, but their efficacy is questionable, and the surgical risks involved are high.

    Can I Do Or Take Anything To Speed Up Nerve Regeneration

    Water jet that washes away prostate problem could cure frequent peeing ...

    Not all patients want to take a tablet for potency and there is no compulsion to do so. Please do be aware that there are common side-effects associated with this increased blood flow, including headaches, facial flushing and indigestion.

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    What Happens Immediately After Surgery

    Once your surgery has finished, you are taken to the recovery room where you will wake up.

    There will be a catheter in your bladder and sometimes a small wound drain.

    You will often feel a sense of needing to empty your bladder. This is normal and is due to the irritation and spasm of the bladder caused by the catheter. This sensation slowly resolves and medication can be given to help relax the bladder. The catheter is held in place with a 3cm inflatable balloon on the catheter tip so cannot fall out with normal activity. Your catheter will remain in for approximately ten days to allow the new join between your bladder and urethra to heal.

    Typically, after one hour in the recovery room, you are taken back to the ward. You will be able to sit up in bed and eat dinner on the evening of surgery and walk about the ward that day or the following morning. Blood thinners and calf compressors are used to reduce the risk of blood clots forming within the veins. Post-operative pain is well controlled through the use of regular pain medication. Once you are comfortable and confident in caring for the catheter you can head home. Hospital stay is typically 1-2 nights for robotic surgery and 2-3 nights for open surgery.

    What Can Help With Leaking Urine

    There are treatments and products available that can help, and there are things you can do to help yourself. Your treatment options will depend on how much urine youre leaking, and how recently you had your prostate cancer treatment.

    Treatments and products available that can help include:

    • absorbent pads and pants
    • bed protectors and handheld urinals

    If you have sudden urges to urinate and sometimes leak urine before you get to the toilet , you may be offered bladder retraining.

    If you still leak urine six to twelve months after surgery and pelvic floor muscle exercises havent helped, there are treatments available that might help. These may include:

    • an internal male sling
    • adjustable balloons

    Talk to your doctor or nurse about treatments and products that may be suitable for you.

    Absorbent pads and pants

    These can be worn inside your underwear or instead of underwear to soak up any leaks. Some people find it helpful to wear close fitting underwear with pads. You may want to try female pads as your leaking improves, as these tend to be smaller and lighter and may fit better. Pads are usually very discreet, so people wont know youre wearing them. But you may feel more confident wearing dark trousers so it wont show as much if your pad does leak.

    Pelvic floor muscle exercises

    Read about pelvic floor muscle exercises.

    Urinary sheaths

    Bed protectors and handheld urinals

    Penile clamps

    Internal male sling

    Like all treatments, there can be side effects.

    Adjustable balloons

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