By Stephanie A. Prendergast, MPT, Cofounder, PHRC Los Angeles
Let’s Talk Prostatectomy Facts
Although prostatectomy is a very effective surgical intervention for prostate cancer, there are some common symptoms that can occur following surgery that each person undergoing this procedure should be aware of. In fact, only 22% of patients undergoing radical prostatectomy were sufficiently counseled on the possible complications of surgery.
Unfortunately, 85% of men will experience erectile dysfunction after prostatectomy. Although the range is large, 2-66% of men will experience urinary incontinence (leaking urine) after prostatectomy. Good news is, pelvic floor physical therapy can help! 92% of men see improvement in these unwanted symptoms if they start pelvic floor physical therapy within one year of surgery.
If you’ve heard about possible complications of prostatectomy, you’ve heard of these four. The good news is that we’re here to help!
Erectile dysfunction can result from the disruption of the nerves to the penis during prostatectomy. There are ways to maximize your erections starting almost immediately after the procedure.
Urinary incontinence is a common complication of prostatectomy. The prostate surrounds the urethra just below the bladder. After prostatectomy, the pelvic muscles and abdominal wall must work together to keep urine from leaking out.
Pelvic pain can also be helped by pelvic floor physical therapy!
Rebuilding core strength after prostatectomy can improve continence, back pain, and posture.
Why do men need pelvic floor physical therapy following prostatectomy?
Besides as a rule of thumb for post surgical care:
The pelvic muscles need ABOVE average strength to make up for the anatomical changes from the surgery! Prostatectomy can also decrease core stability, and some medical treatments that commonly occur with prostatectomy can lead to weakness and bone loss when not paired with appropriate rehabilitation.
Post surgical or other pelvic pains can be treated by PFPT.
Interested in preventing or reversing erectile dysfunction? Penile rehabilitation is part of a comprehensive PFPT treatment!
Strength training and bladder education can help improve or maintain continence and reduce reliance on adult diapers or pads.
Are you unable to come see us in person in the Bay Area, Southern California or New England? We offer virtual physical therapy appointments too!
Virtual sessions are available with PHRC pelvic floor physical therapists via our video platform, Zoom, or via phone. For more information and to schedule, please visit our digital healthcare page.
In addition to virtual consultation with our physical therapists, we also offer integrative health services with Jandra Mueller, DPT, MS. Jandra is a pelvic floor physical therapist who also has her Master’s degree in Integrative Health and Nutrition. She offers services such as hormone testing via the DUTCH test, comprehensive stool testing for gastrointestinal health concerns, and integrative health coaching and meal planning. For more information about her services and to schedule, please visit our Integrative Health website page.
Melissa Patrick is a certified yoga instructor and meditation teacher and is also available virtually to help, for more information please visit our therapeutic yoga page.
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