Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy and Prostatectomy

By Kate Leishman, Pelvic Health Specialist Physiotherapist

Having a prostatectomy can be a concerning time for some men, particularly when it’s combined with a cancer diagnosis. Removing the prostate to treat the cancer usually results in most men (80%) developing urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction as a side effect of the surgery. This can improve with time but it has been reported that 16-51% of men can still be incontinent at one year post operatively. Urinary incontinence can be extremely distressing and can have a significant impact on daily life for these men. The wearing of pads and leakage during daily activities, sport and exercise can impact on the man’s self-esteem and confidence.

There is lots of research to suggest that being taught and undertaking pelvic floor exercises before and after your surgery can limit the degree of incontinence and improve it more quickly (Milios, J (2019). It is recommended that men diagnosed with prostate cancer who are planning surgery as a treatment option should consult with a pelvic health physiotherapist to initiate pelvic floor exercises as soon as possible. There is also good evidence that doing pelvic floor exercises can help the recovery of erectile dysfunction too.

A pelvic health physiotherapist can assess the pelvic floor to look for dysfunction and weakness and can assist in achieving a correct pelvic floor contraction. This can be very important as it has been suggested that up to 50% of patients given written instruction only will do these exercises incorrectly. The physiotherapist will tailor a home exercise programme for each individual patient. They will also give advice on keeping your bladder happy and healthy along with a return to sport and exercise following prostatectomy.

At Life Fit Wellness, our pelvic health physiotherapist, Kate Leishman offers appointments for men undergoing prostate surgery around 6-8 weeks prior to surgery and then again 6 and 12 weeks post operatively to help you get your bladder under control sooner. With our new online booking system, making that appointment has never been easier. Open in your phone or browser and follow the booking instructions. Our pelvic health clinics are available at both our locations, Life Fit Wellness in Falkirk and Life Fit at Kingsfield, Linlithgow.    

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