Urinary Control After Prostate Surgery
While it is common to experience some urinary incontinence after prostate removal or prostate surgery and it is almost always short term. Temporary incontinence is the result of disruption or distress to the sphincter muscles that control the release of urine. This type of incontinence is similar to stress incontinence, often experienced by women post-childbirth. The main goal after you had prostate cancer surgery is to recover quickly, gain complete control over the bladder and become sexually active again.
How long does incontinence last after prostate surgery?
Rest assured that the incontinence you experience after surgery isn’t likely to involve complete bladder emptying. Rather, the short-term incontinence experienced by most is more of slight drip or leak. This happens most often during strenuous activity, and could even occur when you sneeze, cough, or laugh.
Patients who experienced normal continence prior to surgery should regain function within 12-13 months of their surgery. There is never a 100% guarantee, but every surgeon does its best and with these advanced techniques available today, they should get everyone there.
Will Kegel exercises help with my urinary control?
Kegel exercises do work for some and Dr. Samadi even encourages patients to start them before surgery as a type of pre-conditioning. Kegels are a simple exercise of clenching and releasing the muscles that control your urine flow.
Can I take medication to help with my incontinence?
Depending on the degree and length of incontinence you experience, Dr. Samadi may recommend anticholinergics to reduce the sensation or frequency of urination. Decongestants have also been shown to help some patients, though should only be used with physician guidance. An alternative treatment for incontinence uses collagen injections to plump the urinary sphincter for increased urinary control.
What if my incontinence persists?
Though rarely needed, Dr. Samadi and the Lenox Hill Hospital team provide a range of treatment options for men experiencing long-term incontinence after prostate surgery. A variety of surgical procedures can be used to restore urinary control should your symptoms last more than a year. Lenox Hill Hospital and Doctor Samadi had done close to 5000 of these cases. It is unacceptable for a man not to be continent or be sexually active after prostate cancer surgery.