How long will incontinence last after prostate cancer treatment?
I just had prostate removal surgery, removal of previous scar tissue from an abdominal surgery and repair of a hernia. My question is how long will the incontinence last?
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Hopefully, you did a few weeks of Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy prior to the surgery. This helped me tremendously. I resumed the PFPT as soon as the catheter was removed and continued for another 4-6 weeks.
With the PT before the operation, I was fully continent after catheter removal.
I wore the diapers after the surgery for 2-3 weeks but had no dribbles or spotting. I skipped the Guards and used the Pads for 2-3 weeks – still no unintentional output – so I quit them, upon the advice of the Therapist.
I wish you luck.
Unfortunately, there are too many unknown variables for anybody, with the possible exception of your surgeon, to predict how soon and to what extent you will regain continence. I hope that your experience mirrors that of the previous poster, but even if you faithfully and correctly performed Kegel pelvic floor excercises before surgery and after the removal of the catheter, there is no way to guarantee your progress. I say all of this not to discourage you, but to provide you with some context that will help avoid disappointment and discouragement if things progress slowly. In my case, I was diligent with my pelvic floor exercises, my surgeon assured me that everything indicated that I should be able to achieve full continence, but 18 months later I still need a very light Tena Shield for everyday activities, a slightly heavier pad for my 3-6 mile runs and no protection overnight. To get to this point I first started with the pull-ups for a few weeks and gradually moved to lighter pads over time. It was tough not to get discouraged at times, and ultimately I've had to give up my hope that I would regain full continence. That said, I've adjusted to this new reality, and it hasn't changed my life in any significant way. If you read posts from others, you will find some like the previous poster who pulled out the catheter and were good to go, some who lost all continence, and most who are like me and are somewhere in between those two extremes.
Good luck and stay positive!
Thank you, your reply is encouraging although I’m only three weeks after surgery, but extensive surgery. My daily progress is in baby steps and I guess that’s what’s frustrating. I’m an outdoors person golfing and walking and I just wanna get back to normal as soon as possible. Thank you so much for your encouragement continue your good health and well-being.
When I had rotator cuff repair surgery at the age of 64, a coworker told me how he hated the PT required afterwards.
At my first checkup after that operation, my surgeon took my wrist and pulled it up high – that stretch felt so dang great! Then he told me he was done, the rest was up to me.
I did those “up the wall finger crawls” on a set of cabinet doors. Every few days, I could see progress that I would mark with scotch tape – quarter- or half-inch at a time.
Sometimes baby steps are all that we can do. But, keep in mind that several baby steps make one regular step and be content with that progress.
You’re tough. You made it through the surgery. You can do this.
We are here to support each other.
Thank you for your encouragement and I understand you’re in ability to not gain four continents. I religiously do my Keagle exercises and are now starting to feel that they help. I will continue with a positive attitude and thanks to people like you could give me my encouragement. Stay well and healthy and continue to do whatever makes you happy.
Previous hernia here.. treatment for urinary infection with catheter, urinary competency 4 months post Prostatectomy.. 6 months post prostatectomy new inguinal hernia, 8 months post new abdominal hernia.. hernia repairs one year post 3 abdominal hernias and 1 inguinal hernia.. 4 months post hernia repair total incompetence..
wear your hernia belt, watch your weight limits…good luck..remember many more good results than poor outcomes.. kegals, kegals & more kegals .
Following my surgery, I went from total incontinence to continence over a 11-month period. My surgeon had to cut wide on one side, which I’m sure added to my recovery period. I still have no erectile function.
Three weeks ago, I had surgery to repair two groin hernias. My doctor didn’t want to do laparoscopic surgery because of my prostate surgery. The doctor did an open-cut repair. The surgery went fine, and I no issues for three weeks. Then one day shortly afterwards, I started having uncontrolled urinations. Ugh! I decided to stop wearing the groin strap, guessing it was pinching some nerves. The next day, my problem went away and I was fine again. I understand the need for the strap; however, it does have the potential to interfere with your bladder control. Good luck with your recovery.
@dtalle and others, you may also be interested in these related discussions:
– Incontinence Improvement with Pelvic PT? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/disappoints-incontinence-improvement-with-pelvic-pt/
– Do you have urinary incontinence after prostatectomy & radiation? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/urinary-incontinence-1/
I'm now 8 weeks post surgery, using 1 pad a day. Weighing the pads shows I'm losing about 10 ml per day, down from about 100 after cath removal. Wondering if/when I might get to 0 ml, I found this article from 2011 which stated:
"No preoperative factors, such as age, International Index of Erectile Function-5, prostate-specific antigen level, American Urological Association symptom score, body mass index, uroflowmetry, nerve-sparing status, estimated blood loss, or prostate weight, were found to predict time to continence. Pad use at 4 to 7 days, however, was highly correlated with median time to continence. The median time to continence for men using one pad was 35 days, two pads was 42 days, and for three or more pads was 73 days (P=0.0001)."
Reading the details, pad use 4-7 days after cath removal was HIGHLY predictive of how long until return of full continence.
One additional procedure I did to speed up the continence was to attempt to stop the urine flow while urinating. It was not easy to do at first but in no time I was able to "close it off" a few times each trip. I hope this helps and best of luck to you and all.