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Urinary Incontinence or Pain after Prostatectomy Surgery

What is prostatectomy surgery? What causes urinary incontinence or pain after prostatectomy surgery?

Prostatectomy surgery is the complete or partial removal of the prostate. This is typically performed to treat prostate cancer or benign prostatic hyperplasia. During the removal of the prostate the internal urethra sphincter of the bladder is also removed as it is embedded within the prostate. The internal urethra sphincter, which provides involuntary control, and the external urethral sphincter, which provides voluntary control, act to provide a ‘double stop’ system to close the urethra and prevent unwanted leakage of urine.

The pelvic floor muscles are required to compensate for the loss of the involuntary control due to the removal of the internal urethral sphincter. If there is dysfunction or weakness in the pelvic floor muscles this can lead to unwanted leakage of urine.

How can Physiotherapy help my urinary incontinence or pain after prostatectomy surgery?

Physiotherapy will focus on the strength, length, endurance and coordination of the pelvic floor muscles to help meet the new demands placed on the muscles after surgery.

It will also be important to examine and assess the pelvic and postural alignment that may be playing a role in incontinence or pain.

Lastly, it will be important to review and address concerns around constipation and/or voiding post-operatively to decrease the pressure on the pelvic floor.

What are the best exercises to help with my urinary incontinence or pain after prostatectomy surgery? What can I do to treat my urinary incontinence or pain after prostatectomy surgery at home?

Everyone will have different experiences post-operatively so it is important to be assessed by a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist to determine the specific reason(s) why you may be experiencing pain or incontinence. Your therapist can assess the length, strength, endurance and coordination of your pelvic floor muscles.

Once a thorough assessment has been completed, a treatment plan can be developed specifically for you. The goal of the treatment plan will be to educate the client on proper body mechanics and how to align themselves optimally, hands on treatment and an exercise program to be completed at home that will focus on proper body mechanics, posture, muscle strength, length, endurance and coordination.

To get you started, check out the following exercise links:

Please keep in mind that these exercises were designed as a place to start to address your symptoms. These exercises should not be performed or continued if they cause or increase your pain in any way. Using these exercises for self-management of your symptoms does not replace the value of being assessed by a Health Professional. If you find you need help, let a Strive Pelvic Health Rehabilitation Physiotherapist help you, book your time today! 

Written by

Stephanie Gardonio

BPHE, BSc, MScPT

Pelvic Health Rehabilitation

Stephanie has curated a Physiotherapy tool box that allows her multiple points of view to meet her patients’ needs. She has taken courses in the McKenzie Method for assessing and treating spinal conditions. She has completed mat and reformer Rehabilitative Pilates courses through Stott Pilates, training she uses to create customized exercise programs. Understanding the roll of the pelvic floor in the effective treatment of low back pain, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, bowel and bladder dysfunction and during a women’s journey from pre-natal to post-natal, she has completed Pelvic Health Rehabilitation courses. She is qualified to perform internal assessment and treatment of the pelvic floor.

Learn more about Stephanie

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