Post-Prostatectomy Incontinence Treatment in Pinellas County, FL
Urinary incontinence following prostate surgery is a common complication that is usually temporary. The majority of men will experience urine leakage immediately after surgery, but others will suffer long-term urinary incontinence. Incontinence can be a long-term side effect of a prostatectomy, and it often requires medical attention.
Types of Urinary Incontinence
While the majority of men suffer temporary incontinence immediately following prostatectomy, a smaller number of individuals experience significant incontinence for longer periods of time. Some men may dribble urine, whereas others will experience total leakage. The three most common types of urinary incontinence men experience following prostate surgery include:
- Stress incontinence : This type of incontinence occurs when you perform a strenuous physical activity, or when you laugh or sneeze.
- Urge incontinence: When bladder spasms occur, it causes the sudden need to urinate, often leading to total urine leakage.
- Overflow incontinence: This occurs when the bladder does not empty well, and the amount of urine made is more than the bladder can hold.
The reason for this initial leakage has to do with damage to the urinary sphincter—the main mechanism for controlling urination. Normally, as the bladder fills with urine, there is very little change in bladder pressure, and the sphincter remains closed, allowing men to control their urination. When incontinence occurs following a prostatectomy, this normal balance of bladder and sphincter function is disrupted.
Treatment of Urinary Incontinence
Most men regain urinary control without any treatment. The most significant improvements usually occur within the first three months following surgery, and continue for up to one year. Usually within six months after surgery, the majority of men will stop experiencing urinary leakage. For the small percentage of men who continue to have mild or moderate leakage, medical intervention may be necessary.
If you are suffering from incontinence following a prostatectomy, it's important to let your physician know. He or she may start off with noninvasive treatment methods—aggressive treatments are usually not considered until one year after the original prostate surgery. Some of these minimally invasive options include:
- Pelvic floor exercises: Also called Kegel exercises, these exercises are used to help strengthen your bladder muscles.
- Supportive care: This treatment includes behavior modifications – including drinking fewer fluids, avoiding caffeine, and not drinking before bedtime.
- Medicines: Certain medications can be prescribed to help strengthen muscles of the bladder and the muscles that control urine flow.
If medical treatments fail to completely stop urinary incontinence, your doctor may choose a surgical approach. These treatments may include a number of surgical options, including the placement of an artificial sphincter or a ureteral sling. These methods are used for men with mild to moderate leakage persisting for long periods following a prostatectomy. Men with more severe leakage problems may require additional surgeries.
Request more information about post-prostatectomy incontinence today. Call (813) 536-3212 or contact Erin Bolton online.
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