Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer in American men, trailing only skin cancer. Fortunately, thanks to modern treatment methods, most of the 220,800 men diagnosed with prostate cancer each year won’t die from the disease. But treatment can leave you with other problems — namely, urinary incontinence after prostate cancer surgery. That’s why you should know that the Incontinence Institute’s treatments and techniques can help you resolve or minimize this side effect.
Urinary incontinence after prostate cancer surgery falls under the category of functional incontinence. The urinary sphincter isn’t the only “gateway” controlling the flow of urine from the bladder through the urethra — the prostate normally surrounds the urethral mechanism, providing additional regulation to urination control. That extra safeguard goes away when a diseased prostate is surgically removed, often resulting in some degree of urinary incontinence for up to 8 percent of men who have the procedure.
The good news is that medicine is capable of restoring an extra measure of support in place of what it took away. Two common surgical procedures to help correct this form of incontinence include:
• Urethral Sling. If your incontinence is not severe, this minimally invasive surgery can vastly reduce or even eliminate it. After making a tiny incision, we attach a special surgical tape to the urethral bulb. This tape gently pushes the urethra downward into a position that helps prevent leakage.
• AUS. An artificial urinary sphincter (AUS) is a tiny pump system inserted underneath your abdominal muscles. The pump controls pressure inside a cuff surrounding the urethra, enabling you to “go” on command by simply pressing the area of your abdomen directly over the pump.
Depending on the degree of your incontinence, you may not need surgery. The Incontinence Institute has helped countless patients through physiotherapy, medication and other methods. If you’re a survivor coping with urinary incontinence after prostate cancer surgery, contact the Incontinence Institute today to learn about your treatment options.