Commonly, prostate cancer is treated by surgical removal of the prostate (prostatectomy) often this is done robotically (robotic assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy – RALP).
Following a prostatectomy most men experience temporary changes to their waterworks (leaking urine – ‘urinary incontinence’). Physiotherapy can help to reduce the amount and duration of urinary incontinence.
A Pelvic Health Physiotherapist is a physiotherapist who has gained additional training for bladder, bowel and other pelvic troubles. The role of the Pelvic Health Physio is to:
- Guide you to prepare your muscles for surgery (‘pre-hab’)
- Progress your rehabilitation after surgery (post-op rehab)
- Good fluid, bladder and bowel habits… individually tailored for you
- Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation:
- Where this muscle is and how to activate it properly
- How to train this muscle pre-operatively to increase strength, endurance and coordination (all important for bladder control)
- How to progress post-operative training to reduce the amount of leakage at any one time, and to gain general bladder control sooner rather than later
- Appropriate and safe exercise/activity in relation to your lifestyle (all men are different) and tailored to your goals to get you back on track
- It can be great to talk about it with your friends, but remember there is a huge variation in outcomes. Basing your expectations on a few other guys’ experience is risky.
- Research shows that a lot of people can’t contract their pelvic floor correctly when they simply read about it – it is through receiving specific feedback that their pelvic floor can contract effectively.
- Pelvic health physios have a range of assessment options that can give you feedback. We usually use real time ultrasound on the abdominal wall in order to see what your pelvic floor is doing.
Attending Pelvic Health Physiotherapy:
- Usually twice before your operation. If you have time between diagnosis and surgery, it’s better to come to your first appointment with us earlier than just before surgery.
- After the catheter is removed post-op and then as needed.
- The physio will guide your rehabilitation – it is up to you to follow your program on a daily basis outside of your physiotherapy visits.
Good to know:
Research shows, in most cases, urinary incontinence is TEMPORARY following prostate surgery and PHYSIOTHERAPY can help you get drier quicker, stop using pads and return with confidence to your normal lifestyle.