Physiotherapy and Prostate Cancer Surgery - Western Women's and Mens Health
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Physiotherapy and Prostate Cancer Surgery

Physiotherapy and Prostate Cancer Surgery

Physiotherapy and Prostate Cancer Surgery

The most expected problem post prostate surgery is urinary incontinence. The degree of impact varies from person to person. For some it is a mild problem managed with pads for a few weeks, but for others it can be a year-long program of protective pads and bed covers.

Exercising the pelvic floor muscles can help regain bladder control earlier, especially if begun prior to surgery.

Where are your pelvic floor muscles and what do they do?  As the name implies, your pelvic floor muscles are at the base of your pelvis. They form a round layer of muscle to support and control the openings of the pelvic organs, which include the bladder and rectum. Additionally, the muscles of the pelvic floor play a role in the ability to gain and maintain an erection.

Why do you lose bladder control after prostate surgery? Some of the muscles needed for bladder control are removed with the prostate, leading to unexpected leakage, especially when you cough, sneeze or otherwise exert yourself. The amount you leak is hard to predict, but you will require incontinence pads for at least a few weeks after the catheter is removed.

To reduce the amount of urine leakage, you need to learn how to correctly perform pelvic floor exercises. You will no doubt receive an information brochure before or after your surgery, which will give you a guide on how to perform the exercises, but consulting a pelvic floor physiotherapist will give you the best results, without a doubt. It is difficult to identify your pelvic floor muscles, so the assistance and advice of a qualified physiotherapist will ensure you use the best technique to give you the confidence to perform your exercises correctly and effectively.

Starting pelvic floor training before surgery has a two-fold benefit. 1. It gives you a head start on improving the strength of your pelvic floor and 2. It fills in the difficult waiting time before surgery by being proactive. It is generally recommended to begin pelvic floor exercises at least 2-3 weeks prior to surgery. It is all about practice and repetition until it becomes automatic.

Improving your fitness before surgery will help you bounce back faster. Consult your GP first if you have another medical condition. Current recommendations for cardiovascular or aerobic fitness included 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week or a combination of both. You may need to start low and go slow, but you will make progress. Add to this, 2-3 strength training sessions a week for major muscle groups, once again starting low and building up.

After surgery, and after catheter removal, daily walking is safe and recommended within your limits.

For further advice and instruction on pelvic floor, general fitness and strength training exercises, consult a qualified physiotherapist at Western Women and Men’s Health. Together, they can help you regain your bladder control and confidence, as well as improve your overall strength and fitness.

Phone (03) 8001 2044 for an appointment.



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