Overcoming incontinence after prostate cancer surgery
Pelvic floor exercises are strongly recommended for men both before and following a prostatectomy, a recommendation confirmed by worldwide experts at the International Consultation on Incontinence in July 2008.
Research has shown that strengthening the pelvic floor muscles can improve sexual function and overcome urinary incontinence after radical prostatectomy.
We highly recommend the following resources for men to assist them in their recovery from a prostatectomy. Both are created by world-renowned Australian physiotherapists.
Pelvic Floor Exercises for Men instructional DVD by Professor Pauline Chiarelli , a nuts and bolts 'how to' guide for male pelvic floor exercises.Whilst the book Prostate Recovery MAP by A/Prof Craig Allingham will guide you through how to do pelvic floor exercises and lead you into on-going strength training to maximise your recovery.
A recent Italian study has now demonstrated that 12 treatment sessions each of 35 mins duration, starting very soon after a radical prostatectomy, and using equipment that is readily available for use in privacy at home, resulted in almost all men regaining continence at 6 months. (Mariotti, 2009
The PFXA, Peritone, Pericalm and Anuform electrode allow you to mimic this treatment in privacy at home.
The Italian research team that conducted the study worked with men who had undergone a radical prostatectomy. Half of the men in the study received twice-weekly pelvic floor electrical stimulation and biofeedback training, starting 7 days after the removal of their catheters and continuing for six weeks. Results showed that they suffered much less urinary incontinence than the other men in the study who were simply told to exercise their pelvic floor muscles.
FOUR weeks after prostate cancer surgery, 63% of the treated men were continent compared with only 30% of the group that were told to exercise. After six months, virtually all of the treated men were continent, compared with only two-thirds of the control group.
The Italian treatment program consisted of two 35 min sessions each week, each consisting of 15 minutes of biofeedback therapy and 20 minutes of electrical stimulation.
In the research study, the treatments were conducted by a clinician. In Australia, a specialist physiotherapist would also be able to provide these treatments. For men who are not within reach of a physiotherapist or other treatment centre, they are also readily self-administered in privacy at home, using quality products available through our online shop.
The range of electrical stimulation units are widely used stimulation devices perfect for home use, which can be combined with the Anuform anal electrode to provide the same stimulation as used in the Italian program.
Biofeedback devices include either the PFXA which works on air pressure or the more sophisticated Peritone, which is and EMG biofeedback unit that is battery powered and which again can be combined with an Anuform anal electrode.
Men facing, or recovering from, prostate cancer surgery are advised to discuss with their doctor or physiotherapist whether this treatment approach could be right for them.
The material presented here is intended as an information source only. The information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters presented herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information. The information should not be considered complete and should not be used in place of the advice of a health care provider. Pelvic Floor Exercise does not accept liability to any person for the information or advice provided , or for loss or damages incurred as a result of reliance upon the material contained herein.
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