Treating Incontinence after Prostate Surgery

October 23, 2013 2 min read

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer (after skin cancer) among men. Murray Hill, a columnist for The StarPhoenix, had his prostate removed in April. One of the unfortunate side effects of prostate surgery is urinary incontinence – something Hill has been learning to manage with his everyday life. In his most recent blog post, Hill provides an honest, at times comical, account of his experience with incontinence post-surgery. Here are some tips I’ve gathered from his post, that you or your loved one may find helpful in regaining bladder control after prostate surgery:

  • Use a male incontinence pad. Many men who undergo prostate surgery will experience some degree of urinary incontinence afterwards. The best way to keep your clothes dry is to wear an incontinence pad for men, or male guard. Hill recommends Depend Guards for maximum protection. This discreet pad features a cup-like shape with soft side barriers to help prevent leakage.
  • Carry extra supplies. Accidents happen – when you’re out and about, you want to make sure to keep an emergency bag in your car or briefcase. The bag should include extra pads, undergarments, and clothes. Don’t forget to throw in some wet wipes, so you can stay clean and fresh at all times.
  • Perform kegel exercises daily. Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles can help you regain control over your bladder. A good rule of thumb is to kegel three times a day, morning, afternoon and night. If you feel a sneeze coming or a sudden urge to go, make sure to squeeze those muscles!
  • Drink more water. You may think this is the opposite of what you should be doing, but in actuality, dehydration can irritate the bladder and cause more urges to go. Staying hydrated allows your bladder to fill up and help with healing.
  • Don’t get discouraged. Regaining continence after prostate surgery varies from person to person. Some people regain control after six months, while it can take at least a year for others. Be sure to practice good exercise and eating habits. Be patient, don’t give up, and over time, you’ll finally be able to control your bladder. Hill describes it best: “The feeling of accomplishment in getting up, holding it and making it to the bathroom is only beaten by the satisfying sound of being able to pee to the bottom of the bowl.”

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