Men Can Successfully Manage Incontinence, May Regain Bladder Strength After Prostate Surgery

by Tom Wilson, Co-Founder of The CareGiver Partnership
Treatment may include Kegels, bladder retraining.
As a government task force drafts a controversial recommendation against routine PSA screening, butting heads with some doctors and organizations such as the American Cancer Society, it brings to a forefront the topics of side effects and recovery following surgery for prostate cancer.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has drafted a recommendation that PSA blood tests should no longer be part of routine screening for healthy men because it found little evidence of a reduction in deaths, according to an Oct. 8 Associated Press article. The task force says too much PSA doesn’t always mean cancer is present — it also can indicate a benign enlarged prostate or infection — and 30 percent of men treated for PSA-discovered prostate cancer suffer significant side effects from the treatment. Its research shows 200 to 300 of every 1,000 men treated with surgery or radiation suffer incontinence or impotence.

The side effects, including urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction, vary depending on the individual and type and extent of treatment. There are a number of male incontinence products for use following prostate surgery, and there is hope for recovery from these side effects.

Stress incontinence, characterized by urine leakage during activity that strains the bladder, such as coughing, laughing or exercising, is the most common type of incontinence following a radical prostatectomy. Many men regain bladder control within several weeks or months, but there is a risk of stress incontinence lasting up to three years following surgery.

                           Watch the video:  How to choose the right incontinence product

Ways to cope include choosing male incontinence products following surgery, keeping skin clean and healthy, and controlling fluid intake. Your doctor may also recommend Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles in combination with bladder retraining, which can help decrease urine leakage, urgency and frequency.

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