How common is male urinary incontinence after prostatectomy surgery?

Radical prostatectomy surgery is quickly becoming the preferred surgical treatment option given its nerve-sparing techniques, however, a common side effect of this surgery is urinary incontinence. A 2011 trial demonstrated that approximately 89% of radical prostatectomy patients will experience urinary incontinence post-surgery, with the majority of these patients still experiencing leaks three months later1. Other studies and patient testimony have proven that in some patients, if untreated, urinary incontinence can linger for several years after surgery2.

Why does prostatectomy surgery cause urinary incontinence?

During Radical Prostatectomy surgery, the prostate gland and some of the surrounding tissue is removed. This causes weakness in the neck of the bladder, resulting in reduced control over the pelvic floor3.

This pelvic floor weakness most commonly manifests itself in prostatectomy patients as stress urinary incontinence, urge incontinence or post-micturition dribble1. Following surgery, symptoms can be severe making it difficult to return to work and can also impact on personal relationships and confidence. Urinary control can be regained after radical prostatectomy surgeries, however complete bladder control can take up to eighteen months to achieve and a small percentage of patients will experience ongoing issues.

How long does it take to recover from incontinence after prostate cancer surgery?

A study found that 88% of prostatectomy patients experiencing stress urinary incontinence were still suffering up to 1-year later2. However, as all patients will experience side effects to different degrees, so do they recover from these side effects at variable rates. In most cases, the recovery time for urinary incontinence after prostatectomy surgery ranges from 6-12 months in most cases seven, with continence improving progressively up until 2 years post-surgery.

Impact on mental health

Depression and decreased quality of life have been found to co-occur in people struggling with incontinence. Fear of leaks in public and the required changes and limitations that incontinence has on daily life can have a big impact on well-being.

It can make such a difference to be able to carry out previously enjoyed activities, especially after going through the trauma of cancer. Whether it be golfing with friends, have a pint down at the pub, or going for your morning run, you can get back to normal life by treating Urinary Incontinence head on.

How to treat urinary incontinence after prostatectomy surgery

Pelvic floor exercises are widely regarded as the most favourable and conservative treatment pathway for prostatectomy patients, however these can be tedious and difficult to do properly.

Easy to use, comfortable to wear, and clinically proven to work, INNOVO is a completely non-invasive solution that helps you safely and effortlessly treat bladder weakness by strengthening and re-educating the entire network of pelvic floor muscles through gentle muscle stimulation.

Using INNOVO for just 30 minutes p/day, five days p/week has been proven to treat bladder weakness, and in as little as 4 weeks4. There are no probes to insert making it the perfect electrical muscle stimulation device for men. Just pull on the shorts, connect the controller and let INNOVO do the hard work for you.

How much can you save with INNOVO?

The cost of wearing pads, liners and absorbent pants adds up. Use our calculator to see how much you’re spending each year. INNOVO is a one-time payment solution. No more pads, leaks or worries.

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1 British Journal of Nursing, 2013 (Urology Supplement), Vol 22, No 9

2 https://prostatecanceruk.org/prostate-information/living-with-prostate-cancer/urinary-problems

3 Colley, Wendy (2014), Nursing Times, Incontinence Following Prostate Cancer Surgery

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