Urinary Control After Prostate Surgery

Accidental urinary loss or incontinence after prostate surgery is a common concern of patients facing prostate cancer surgery. Robotic prostatectomy, fortunately, minimizes the risk of incontinence. Patients who have robotic prostate surgery regain total bladder control more quickly and completely when compared to open prostatectomy. Review of our data dating back to 2001 has demonstrated an incontinence rate of less than 1%. This is due to the expertise of Dr. Gholami in addition to the excellent optics and dexterity of the DaVinci Robotic system.

Recovery of urinary control after prostate surgery varies from a few days after surgery to 3 months after surgery. This recovery is unique to each patient and is dependent on each individual’s ability to heal. Long-term urinary control problems are extremely rare after robotic surgery.

After Robotic Surgery Urine Function, Control and Incontinence

A catheter will be inserted during surgery. Four to ten days after prostate surgery you will return to Dr. Gholami’s office to have the catheter removed. Bring a protective pad with you. (This is compared to an average of 14-21 days with a catheter after traditional radical prostatectomy.)

Upon removal of the catheter, you will need to retrain the muscles that control the flow of urine. Be sure to urinate every three hours when you’re awake to retrain your bladder and as soon as you feel the urge.

Walking and Kegel exercises will help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Approximately, 300 Kegel exercises a day are recommended until total bladder control is achieved. Kegel muscle exercises are done by stopping your urinary stream/flow or trying to lift your penis up and down.

Many patients are dry and do not need pads one week following surgery. However, you may want to wear a bladder control pad in the initial post-operative period to deal with temporary incontinence after prostate surgery. When you begin to regain continence, you will typically remain dry throughout the night at first. The second phase encompasses night and early morning control. Finally, you will remain dry night and day. Drink plenty of water as adequate fluid intake will assist in optimum bladder health. Urinary function also improves for up to two years after prostate surgery.

Please remember that overcoming incontinence after prostate surgery will vary from one man to the next. Do your exercises, be patient, and be sure to contact us if you have any questions or concerns about radical prostatectomy incontinence and your progress. At the Northern California Prostate Center, post-operative care and patient satisfaction are critical components of the treatment process.

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