Text Reads: "MAstering continence and confidence after prostate surgery: Your PT Game plan" accompanied by an image of smiling Dr. Kelly with her trademark smile and relaxed curly hair, holding pelvises. Pelvic PT can be a game changer before and after prostate surgery.

Mastering Continence and Confidence After Prostate Surgery

May 05, 2024

Hey there! ๐Ÿ‘‹ Ready for a game-changer in your post-prostatectomy journey? Here it is: Pelvic floor PT! ๐ŸŒŸ

Want a Tip to Boost Your Recovery Post-Prostatectomy? Go for Pelvic Floor PT!

Have you heard about the magic of pelvic floor physical therapy for post-prostatectomy recovery?

Let me share a study that might convince you!   In 2006, Burgio et al. conducted a groundbreaking study titled "Preoperative biofeedback-assisted behavioral training to decrease post-prostatectomy incontinence: a randomized, controlled trial." 

Don’t let those eyes glaze over!  Stick with me, as the results were eye-opening!

What’s a prostatectomy, again? Anatomy Review in 30-seconds:

In general, here is a side view of a pelvis with a penis!   

  1. This urethra is for pee and semen.  It travels from the bottom of the bladder, through the prostate, and exits out the penis. 
  2. The prostate gland is about the size of a walnut, is directly beneath the bladder, and surrounds the urethra as it exits the bladder. Its main job is to produce fluid that nourishes the sperm.
  3. In prostatectomy, the prostate is removed–which means that the piece of urethra (pee tube) is also removed, and a very important “walnut sized-thing” that was supporting the bladder is no longer supporting the bladder anymore. 


Because of this change in anatomy with prostatectomy, the pelvic pressure basics of the crotch-region are (understandably) affected.  And leaks or seggsy-time problems might be common but not normal after prostate surgery…NOT because of any actual nerve damage, but more so because of muscle and nerve coordination changes, that occur after ANY surgery. Pelvic Floor PT significantly improves the chances of a person recovering continence and sexual function post prostatectomy and prostate surgery.  In fact, that’s what this post is about–read on, friends!!


Men who went to ONE visit of Preoperative Pelvic PT had LESS LEAKS (& better bedroom function) After Prostatectomy!!

  • The study found that attending just one pelvic floor PT visit before surgery significantly increased the percentage of people who returned to continence after their surgery!! 
  • In the control group (those who didn’t go to pre-op PT), only half were continent at the 6-month mark post-surgery. 
  • In contrast, the study group, who had that single pre-op PT visit, had a whopping twice the speed of recovery, with an average return to continence at just 3 months! Who wouldn't want those odds?  
  • If it’s ME...I want my pee and bedroom functions back quicker...and if it's MY husband…I want him in the faster recovery group…for many reasons, some of them selfish ;)


Doubling the Recovery Speed After Prostate Surgery in Those Who Attended ONE visit of pre-operative Pelvic PT!!

  • It's not just about getting back to being continent; it's about doing it faster. 
  • The control group struggled, with only half achieving continence at the 6-month mark. 
  • But the study group, armed with that single preoperative PT visit, had a significantly quicker recovery, reaching continence in just 3 months on average. 
  • Now, that's a game-changer!


What Do Pelvic PTs Do in that SINGLE visit BEFORE Prostatectomy, and Why Is It So Effective?

I’m so glad you asked! 

Pelvic PTs are like your pelvic health gurus. They teach you to connect your brain with your pelvic floor, helping you sense where it is in space and what it's up to. Beyond that, they guide you in ensuring your pelvic muscles are neither too tense nor too relaxed. Post-prostatectomy, it's common for these muscles to hang out in a state of spasm, contributing to both leakage and erectile dysfunction.

Preoperatively, a Pelvic PT (in person or online, both are equally effective) teaches you about your pelvic muscles, the role of the prostate, what it means for pee, poop and seggsy-time function to have it removed, and how to optimize your post-operative healing.

While the study focused on just one pre-op PT visit, in reality, pelvic PTs often continue to work with individuals for 2-6 visits post-surgery. We're here to guide you through the recovery journey, ensuring your pelvic muscles are on the right track.

Oops, My Prostatectomy Was Ages Ago. Is It Too Late for Help?

Absolutely not! Even if your surgery was decades ago, pelvic PTs can step in and make a significant difference. It is never too late to invest in your pelvic floor and well being!!  The key is reconnecting you to your body, enhancing your muscle functionality, and addressing any lingering symptoms. So, it's never too late to seek support and improve your pelvic function.


Your Homework for Post-Prostatectomy Success:

Start with relaxed breathing exercises. Inhale, allowing movement in your belly and pelvic floor, and exhale gently, trying to keep your pelvic floor muscles relaxed. This simple practice, done a few times a day, kick starts your brain into thinking about those pelvic floor muscles, as well as improves the actual pelvic muscle health, for better recovery.

Consider at least one visit of Pelvic PT, in person or online, to learn so much more about your body.  Each provider will vary on if they are cash-based, or accept insurance, so please inquire to find a provider that works with your needs. 


Not Ready for Pelvic PT? No Problem! You Can Still Get Help!

I get it. Talking about these issues may not be everyone's cup of tea. But worry not, my friend. Pelvic Floored’s Online Courses are here to empower you with a wealth of knowledge about your pelvic floor. You can work through them in the comfort and privacy of your own home, without uttering a word to anyone. It's your secret weapon to reclaiming control over your pelvic health. And, with seamless streaming to your phone, tablet and computer (via the free Kajabi app, blue K, downloadable wherever you get your apps), you can have world-class pelvic health information and exercises wherever you are!!

Pelvic Floored has Pelvic Wellness programs designed for everyone, irrespective of age or background. Your journey to pelvic health is yours to own, and I'm here to support you every step of the way. For a fraction of the cost of one:one PT sessions, you don’t want to miss out!


Thanks for reading, and here's to your pelvic health journey!

xoxo, Dr. Kelly ๐Ÿ˜Š

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Burgio et al., “Preoperative biofeedback assisted behavioral training to decrease post-prostatectomy incontinence: a randomized, controlled trial" Journal of Urology, 2006.


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