Physiotherapy and Prostate Surgery

Bladder leakage is experienced by many men following prostate surgery (prostatectomy or TURP).

This is a common problem and often men find this the biggest challenge they have to cope with during the recovery process. it is important to get professional advice to help cope with bladder weakness during this time and learn how to overcome it.

Why is this occurring?

Bladder leakage after prostate surgery commonly occurs due to damage to the nerves and structures of the ‘urethral sphincter’ whose role is to keep the bladder opening closed and which lives directly above the prostate. When this in-built continence mechanism is damaged, Men need to call on their secondary mechanism - ‘the pelvic floor muscles’ - to take the lead as the primary bladder closure mechanism while the sphincter recovers. Recover periods can range from a few weeks to 12 months and beyond.

What might I experience?

After prostate surgery, you may experience all or none of the following. It is impossible to predict who will have what symptoms and how long they might last:

  • Leakage of urine when you stand up, change position, cough, sneeze, lift, laugh or do exercise

  • Feel an urgent need to empty your bladder and inability to stop it from emptying

  • Urine leakage after going to the toilet

What can be done to help me?

Having a pre-operative pelvic floor assessment and treatment plan has been shown to reduce the duration of urinary incontinence post surgery. Post-op assessment can also help to reduce the recovery time for men who haven’t sought treatment before their surgery.

It is very important that you have your pelvic floor muscle technique and endurance assessed by a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist so that you are effective in your rehabilitation. Many men are contracting their muscles incorrectly prior to being correctly taught.

It is important to learn other methods to enhance recovery which include - good bowel habits, appropriate rest:activity ratio and how to use continence products.

We can also guide you on when it is appropriate to return to exercise and work.

We work closely with your Urologist to ensure all parties are kept informed of your progress.

We can also put you in touch with your local prostate cancer support group if you request this.