Who wants to recover faster from prostate surgery?
In my humble, professional opinion, I think that anyone who has a penis, or loves someone with a penis ought to have a vested interest in how to recover faster from prostate surgery. And this is a big deal, because of two mind-blowing statistics. Are you ready for them?
- Without pelvic floor physical therapy, a person who has a prostatectomy has a 50% chance of being continent (meaning being in control of their pee and poop) at one year post op.
- With ONE SINGLE PRE-OPERATIVE PELVIC PT VISIT, the average return of continence is 3 months post-op.
Average recovery of continence in 3 months…
versus a 50% chance of being continent at one year??
From just ONE Pre-operative Pelvic PT visit??
Yep. If you don’t believe me, read the science (Burgio, et al)
Burgio et al., 2006 “Preoperateive biofeedback assisted behavioral training to decrease post-prostatectomy incontinence: a randomized, controlled trial.” Journal of Urology: 175(1):196-201
A 2020 study (Milios, et al) compared recovery of two groups of men, one group who was ‘sent home to heal’ and another group that was trained by PTs in a simple, daily HEP to do for 6 weeks.
Yep, the PT group regained continence (and confidence) faster and more completely than the ‘just rest’ group.
Milios, et al, 2020. “Pelvic Floor Muscle Training and Erectile Dysfunction in Radical Prostatectomy: A Randomized Controlled Trial Investigating a Non-Invasive Addition to Penile Rehabilitation.” Sexual Medicine: 8(3):414-421
And normal sexual function follows recovery of continence, so after continence returns, then normal Seggsy-Time Function returns, and people generally care about this a lot 🙂
What do Pelvic PTs Do?
I’ll do a more detailed group of posts soon on this exact topic, but essentially, the key is to know this: your private bits at the bottom of your pelvis are surrounded by a hammock of muscles, your pelvic floor muscles.
As a result of pelvic dysfunction (pain, urgency, frequency due to prostate hyperplasia OR SURGERY!!), the pelvic muscles often spasm, tighten and-or weaken, JUST LIKE the muscles of your shoulder or knee would do after a surgery to those parts.
But unlike a shoulder or a knee, for some strange reason, pelvic surgeons aren’t in the habit of always recommending post operative PT. And why the heck not? Can you imagine your doc repairing your ACL or rotator cuff, and saying, ‘just go home and rest for 6 weeks, then you’ll be fine?’
So why is this ‘the norm’ for pelvic surgeries?
So the Pelvic PT will talk to you about your history, check your spine and hip mobility and strength, and yes, most likely, check your pelvic floor muscle range of motion and strength. (This quick Blog Post has a one minute video about What Happens in a Pelvic PT session). This internal exam, if you have a penis, is generally done with you in sidling, and the PT will gently examine the pelvic muscles externally, then internally, looking for range of motion, trigger points, and assessing how you coordinate these muscles with breath, Kegel and relaxation.
Many people are nervous about this, but I assure you, once you have your muscles checked, you realize how vital it is to your recovery.
You of course, can, opt for an external only exam, and there is a lot of good we can do there, as well. So if the internal exam is not your cup of tea, just tell your PT.
Where do I sign up??
Check out this post for where to find a Pelvic PT near you, and get started today!!!
And if you can’t get to Pelvic PT, my Prostatectomy Course is going to be Launching SOON!!! This Streamable Online Course will offer you all the same education that my in-person client receive, in a streamable fashion that you can watch at your own pace, from the privacy and comfort of your home. It includes ALL THE EXERCISES that the above-mentioned studies included.
In less than 15 minutes a day for 6 weeks, you can finally have your continence (and confidence!) back.
Thanks for Reading!
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