How Many Men Feel Following Prostate Surgery

Fortunately, times have changed and side effects
have less impact on day-to-day life. 
According to the FDA, prostate cancer kills more than 30,000 American men each year. It is the most prevalent male cancer, and thus it is very common for men to undergo prostate surgery, although radiation or watchful waiting are also options for treatment. 

According to the American Cancer Society, about one in six American men get prostate cancer at some point in their life. While prostate surgery, is not the only option, it is the most commonly used option to remove the prostate and fight the cancer. Tens of thousands of men each year undergo prostatectomy.

With so many men opting to undergo this surgery, it is not surprising many want to know what to expect post surgery? How will they feel? How will things operate?

How do these men feel following prostate surgery?

The answer is simply that it depends on the person, the surgery, the cancer, and more. It is hard to say exactly, but there are some trends. When a man has prostate cancer treatments, the goal is to destroy only cancer cells. However, unfortunately some healthy cells and tissues are often damaged as well, and this can lead to some side effect post surgery. Some individuals may suffer long-term consequences to their quality of life, in particular sexual function, while others may find that they have some side effects that are only temporary.

The two most common obstacles men face following prostate surgery are incontinence and erectile dysfunction.

In the past these two side effect were both devastating and almost inevitable. Fortunately times have changed, technologies have advanced, and there are many products available to help manage these side effects so they have less impact on day-to-day life.


Fortunately for most men, despite the fact that nearly half of men who undergo prostate surgery experience incontinence, these side effects are often temporary. In fact, according to a recent study, three out of four men regain their physical and mental well-being and have no more problems with incontinence than before the operation.

For many it is simply a matter of retraining and strengthening muscles, and finding and using the right products to manage the occasional drip or dribble.

Incontinence is common because the prostate glad surrounds the male urethra, and when there is cancer in the prostate, it squeezes the urethra causing obstruction. The sphincter, or muscles at the base of the bladder, controls the flow and leakage of urine by tightening around the neck of the bladder. When the prostate is removed, damage to the bladder muscles and sphincter can occur, and those muscles may require strengthening to hold urine, and function properly.

Choosing the right incontinence products can help men to manage the incontinence they experience so that it has little impact on their daily life. One of the best ways to do this is by using a guard. This is the equivalent of a female pad, but for men. It is designed to discreetly catch drips and dribbles and be worn inside regular under clothing. The Caregiver Partnership offers many options for sizing, brand, and absorbency.

Of course, a guard may not be the right product for every individual as severity and needs differ. However, The Caregiver Partnership offers a whole line of adult incontinence products, and an easy to use Incontinence Product Finder to help sort through the options to select the very best for the unique needs of the individual.

Most men can regain control with tactics like medication and strengthening exercises. Kegel exercises, the deliberate tightening or clenching of the pelvic muscles, when performed regularly will tone, strengthen, and tighten the external sphincter and muscles controlling the bladder and improve incontinence.

In addition to incontinence, men may experience problems with obtaining erection. This is something to discuss with your doctor, however, some degree of dysfunction is normal, regardless of the technique performed, but recovery is often dependant on whether or not nerve-sparing techniques are used. Typically recovery will occur within the first two years if nerve-sparing technique is used. But it depends on the severity, the type of surgery, stage of cancer, and skill of surgeon. For more information, talk to your medical professional.

Learn more about how men feel after prostate surgery. 

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About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visit to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.


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