Urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction after radical prostatectomy.

Urinary incontinence is related to the condition of the urethra and the pelvic floor muscles. When the pelvic floor muscles contract, they automatically activate the urethral sphincter preventing the loss of urine.

Urinary incontinence after radical prostatectomy is a common clinical problem with implications for patients’ quality of life. Training pelvic floor muscles to treat incontinence is the first line of treatment we implement at Athens Rehab.

Scientific studies show that this approach achieves improvement rates of 55% to 90%.

A Pelvic Floor muscle rehabilitation program should begin before surgery. It has been proven that the results are much better and the improvement is faster. If this cannot be achieved, then the patient upon the catheter removal and regardless of the severity of their incontinence, should follow a Specialized Pelvic Floor Muscle Rehabilitation Program to ensure continence in the future.

Postoperative prostate rehabilitation at Athens Rehab

Prostatectomy affects the body enormously. Fifty per cent (50%) of men present incontinence after surgery and of those, 20% experiences incontinence even after 12 months after surgery.

59.9% of patients remain impotent 18 months after radical prostatectomy. As with any other surgery, regardless of which interventional method is performed, all nerves, blood vessels and muscles are affected (cut).

According to the Journal of Sexual Medicine, urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction remain the most common long-term complication of prostatectomy, with a significant impact on sexual health and quality of life.

Due to the surgical procedure, the blood vessels that are damaged or cut will undergo a process called neovascularization, through which the nerves and muscles will regenerate in their own pace. During that process the body may experience muscle spasms, localized or generalized swelling, and pain as a result of the body’s attempt to stabilize itself.

ΠNumerous studies highlight the benefits of exercise before and after surgery, and its positive association with more successful outcomes. A study by Hoogeboom et al acknowledges that a worse preoperative physical condition may hinder postoperative recovery.

Early rehabilitation will allow early assessment of your original condition. You can imagine that an intact musculoskeletal and nervous system is the optimal environment for the body to improve its chances of returning to its optimal function.

5 things to consider before prostatectomy

Aspects that should be evaluated by a pelvic floor physical therapist before patient’s surgery include:

  • Evaluation abdominal muscles for the detection of abdominal strain
  • Assessment of the degree of engagement of transverse abdominis muscle at movement
  • Evaluation of the resting muscle tone of the pelvic floor muscles
  • Determination of pelvic floor muscle strength and ability of contraction
  • Assessment of the eccentric lengthening capacity of the pelvic floor muscles after a full contraction
  • Care and treatment of the pelvic floor before and after surgery can significantly affect the function and quality of life of the patient.

Contact us, today, for post-operative prostatectomy or prostate hypertrophy rehabilitation.


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