When you undergo prostate surgery, one of the potential side effects is urinary incontinence. The prostate’s proximity to the bladder and urethra requires the surgeon to practice extreme precision. Slight damage to the nerves and muscles of the bladder, urethra, or urethral sphincter during the procedure could cause urinary incontinence.
For the majority of men, incontinence after prostate surgery is temporary. It goes away within the first year. For others, it may continue for a longer period. Exploring effective solutions to this problem can help you improve your quality of life.
Non-Invasive Incontinence Solutions
To speed up recovery from prostate surgery, your doctor may recommend several non-invasive solutions, including:
- Pelvic floor exercises – pelvic muscle floor training (PMFT) can improve urinary control and reduce leakage. The most well-known PMFT type is Kegel exercises.
- Dietary modifications – to keep your bladder under control, you may have to avoid such irritants as caffeine and alcohol.
- Bladder training techniques – such techniques as scheduled voiding or delayed urination can “train” the bladder to hold urine for longer periods to prevent leakage episodes.
The key to ensuring the success of these solutions is implementing them regularly according to the doctor’s recommendations.
External Incontinence Solutions
External solutions are also a non-invasive approach to incontinence after prostate surgery. They are:
- Penile clamps – these external clamps put pressure on the urethra and compensate for the improper work of the urethral sphincter.
- External catheters – also known as condom catheters, these devices collect urine through a sheath placed over the penis.
- Absorbent pads and diapers – these products protect against unexpected leaks, especially for people with severe forms of incontinence.
While external devices aren’t always convenient, they can make your everyday life easier. Your doctor will help you choose the most suitable option for your needs.
Medications for Incontinence
Some medications may be highly effective in managing incontinence after prostate surgery. They include:
- Anticholinergic drugs – this medication helps relax the bladder muscles to reduce the feeling of urgency and help the bladder hold more urine.
- Alpha-blockers – these drugs relax the smooth muscle of the bladder neck and make it easier to urinate.
- Hormonal therapy – serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors can decrease the symptoms of incontinence by improving the work of the urethral sphincter.
Hormonal therapy is a temporary solution. Before taking advantage of it, you need to discuss the pros and cons with your doctor.
Surgical Treatments for Incontinence
If non-invasive solutions and medications don’t yield the desired results, your doctor may recommend surgical treatment options for incontinence. Some of them may be:
- Artificial urinary sphincter (AUS) – this device placed around the urethra to control urine flow allows for manual control over urinary function.
- Urethral sling procedures – the surgeon puts a supportive mesh-like sling around the urethral bulb to compress and move the urethra into another position.
- Urethral bulking agents – a bulking agent is injected into the wall of the urethra to strengthen its sides and help it seal tightly.
Each one of these procedures has counterindications. That’s why professional medical evaluation is necessary.
Comparing Effectiveness and Further Considerations
To choose the right option for your needs, you have to consider such factors as possible side effects, risks, costs, and success rates.
During a consultation, you and your doctor will discuss the effects these solutions can have on your lifestyle. In many cases, the slight discomfort that some of these options bring is offset by the alleviation of the incontinence issues.
The benefits of each of these solutions can vary from person to person. Before recommending one of them, a medical professional has to consider several factors, including:
- Medical history
- Severity of incontinence
Your preferences play a major role in the selection of the solution. You would have to consider your lifestyle to make sure the chosen option doesn’t interfere with your daily activities.
Find Post-Prostate Surgery Incontinence Solutions in Middle Tennessee
If you are having incontinence issues after prostate surgery, many treatment options are available. Determining which one is the best for you requires a consultation with an experienced medical professional.
At the Incontinence Institute in Middle Tennessee, we have a team of certified urologists who have experience administering all treatment solutions. We’re focused on finding the most effective, personalized solution for each patient. To schedule a consultation, contact our team and learn more about the treatment options we offer.