Prostate Cancer Surgery and Incontinence: Managing The Side Effects

Posted on: 21 December 2022

Prostate cancer surgery can be a life-saving treatment option that has saved thousands upon thousands of lives both in Australia and across the world. Depending on the level of surgery and your previous condition, there is a chance that this life-saving surgery will cause some lingering side effects, including incontinence. This can be managed with proper lifestyle changes and a bit more awareness of your condition than before, and it is important to mention that the benefits of prostate cancer surgery always outweigh these minor side effects.

Here are a few ways in which you can make your life more comfortable when recovering from prostate cancer surgery.

Bladder Training

Bladder training involves gradually increasing the time between trips to the bathroom in an effort to retrain the bladder to hold more urine. This can help reduce the frequency of urges to urinate. While it may seem like taking baby steps again after being able to run in the past, that is simply part of the path back to full health that you may need to take after prostate cancer surgery. It can be a quick process or it may take months before you see results but if you stick with it, you will get better and be more in control of your bladder once again.

Kegel Exercises

Kegel exercises are exercises that involve contracting and relaxing the muscles that control urine flow. They are one of the most important training methods for regaining control of your pelvic muscles after any major surgery in this area and are often practised by men and women as they get older anyway. It is important to note that, as with any type of exercise, kegel takes time to fully start seeing results, but when they do they can be very beneficial and act as part of the cure to your incontinence. The important thing is that you don't give up, because you can, and will, make a full recovery if you stick with it. 


In more serious cases where incontinence is becoming more frustrating for the patient, there is a chance you may be prescribed certain medications. These medications can either increase the strength of the muscles around your bladder or they can be used to actually reduce the amount of urine you produce. If you are really struggling despite lifestyle changes and a positive and consistent approach to your bladder control, then bring this up with your post-op healthcare contact and they may suggest some medication that can make your life a lot easier.

Ask your prostate cancer surgery team to learn more.


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