Physiotherapy for Incontinence after prostate surgery
More and more Men over 50 years are experiencing prostate problem. Most of the cases are withoutsymptoms. Only test that can detect the early stage of prostate problem is PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen).This can be done during a regular Master Health Check-up.With an elevated PSA prostate cancer can be detected early with further investigation.
A prostatectomy is the surgical removal of the prostate gland which is located just under the bladder and has the urethra travelling through it.
After the prostectomy one can experience incontinence and erectile dysfunction. We will focus on incontinence in this article. When the prostate is surgically removed damage to the cells and tissues that provide continencemay occur. These tissues are called pelvic floor muscles.
In the above picture one can see the pelvic floor muscles. The floor of the pelvis is made of layers of muscle and other tissues. These layers stretch like a hammock from the tailbone at the back to the pubic bone in front. A man’s pelvic floor supports his bladder and bowel. The urine tube and back passage all pass through the pelvic floor muscles. One’s pelvic floor muscles help one to control his bladder and bowel. It also helps in sexual function. It is vital to keep one’s pelvic floor muscle strong.
These Pelvic floor muscles could eitherbe too weak, too tight or uncoordinated resulting in pelvic floor dysfunction after the surgery.
Stress Incontinence: Weak pelvic floor muscles cannot squeeze tightly when there is a sudden increase in the abdominal pressure due to sudden sneeze, coughing, laughing or lifting weight resulting in urine leakage.
Constant Dribbling: Some may experience constant dribbling throughout the day with increased leakage during physical activity.
Leakage and Erectile Function: Whenpelvic floor muscles are too tense or restricted both leaking and erectile dysfunction can occur.
Physiotherapy is a successful treatment option for men experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction following prostectomy. First, Physiotherapists who are trained in pelvic floor muscle examination educate the clients who are going in for surgery about the importance of exercises for the pelvic floor muscles and make them understand the right exercises to work only concentrate on pelvic floor muscles and not on lower abdominals, inner thigh or buttocks muscles. Then after surgery they evaluate the function of pelvic floor muscles and then plan the treatment protocol.
After the evaluation, Physiotherapy for incontinence includes manual therapy, biofeedback therapy, strengthening and coordination training.A tailored home exercise program is taught to help men improve their pelvic floor muscle awarenessduring home/work/sport and empowers men to improve pelvic floor muscles function.With dedicated physiotherapy most men with symptoms of incontinence post-prostectomy can regain full continence in 2-3 months.