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Pelvic Pain Awareness Month Continues: Prostatectomy and Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

Updated: Dec 3, 2021

Did you know that pelvic floor therapy can help with the side effects of prostatectomy?

Side effects from prostatectomy may include urinary leakage, erectile dysfunction, and/or pelvic pain.

Studies found that 80-98% of patients would experience urinary leakage after prostatectomy. It is one of the primary side effects that impact the quality of life the most. Urinary leakage may present as:

  • Continuous leakage of urine with no control

  • Lack of urge to urinate

  • Leakage with movements including coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting, and standing up.

Prostatectomies can lead to urinary leakage because the surgery involves removal of the prostate, a portion of the urethra, and sometimes sparing of surrounding nerves. In addition, reconstruction of the bladder neck and urethra, and placement of a catheter may all contribute to the symptom of leakage.

Some patients may experience pelvic pain, which includes but not limited to, the perineal region (penis, testicles, and/or anus), the groin region, and/or the lower abdomen region. The development of pelvic pain may include the following:

  • Fear of leakage causes constant muscle guarding

  • Surgical trauma, such as scar tissue, leads to body compensation

  • Overactivation of the pelvic floor muscles due to poor Kegel training.

For faster recovery and fewer symptoms, it is recommended to receive 5-6 weeks of pelvic floor training before your surgery. Of course, pelvic floor training after surgery can help promote healing and gain better bladder control as well!

We can and we will get better together!

Dr. Yvonne Huang


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