The Incontinence After-Effects of Prostrate Surgery

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January 14, 2018

Prostrate problems are a common occurrence among older men. For seniors who must have prostrate surgery, there can be serious after effects. The two most common side effects are incontinence and erectile dysfunction. Statistics show that they are characterized in 80% of cases after surgery, for prostate cancer. Impotence and incontinence after surgery are most often due to muscle damage, and nerve fibers in the prostate. The good news is that these side effects are found to be temporary in most cases. It then falls to caregivers, to help their elderly loved one, deal with these problems while they have them. 

Here is what you need to know about the after-effects of prostate surgery- 

Prostate surgery is most often recommended, for an enlarged prostate, chronic prostatitis (inflamed prostate) and prostate cancer. The type of surgery that is used depends upon which type of prostate problem is being treated, and the size of the prostrate. Open surgery with complete removal of the prostate, is usually performed when prostate cancer is diagnosed. Laparoscopic, laser, robot, and transurethral resection, surgeries may also be performed to remove part of, or the entire prostate. Some after effects of prostate surgery may include incontinence and erectile dysfunction. 

Caregivers should understand that recovery from prostate surgery, involves the risk of blood in urine, painful urination, and infection. Urinary tract, or incision infections, is uncommon; however they are treatable with antibiotics. Painful urination, and blood in the urine, are more common side effects of prostate surgery, and usually clear up within a few weeks of surgery. Many prostate surgery patients will have a catheter from several days, to a couple of weeks after surgery, and this may exacerbate the pain and irritation.

Temporary erection problems are extremely common, after prostate surgery. However, studies show that most men regain full, or partial sexual function, within a year of prostate surgery. It should be noted that if nerve damage is present, or does not improve, impotence may be permanent. Therapy, medication, impotence devices, or implants may be used decrease erection problems in men, after prostate surgery. While there is nothing that a caregiver can do directly, knowing, and understand these risks can be helpful. 

Temporary incontinence is the most common after effect, of prostate surgery. The degree of incontinence will vary, from person to person, and the problem usually resolves within a few months, to a year, after surgery. Incontinence and other bladder symptoms may include: the urgent need to urinate, inability to fully empty the bladder resulting in overfill, or involuntary urination after sneezing, coughing, or physical exertion. It is important to note that while this problem, is usually rare, a year after the procedure, some men may suffer persistent urinary incontinence that requires treatment. The following items can help caregivers, when addressing this issue with their elderly loved one- 

  • Pads-There many types of absorbent pads that are made especially, for men. These may be worn for early urinary leakage issues, in the first weeks after surgery. In addition, bed pads can help protect mattresses and sheets, during the night. At they offer a wide variety of products to help deal with incontinence issues.
  •  Medications-There are certain antidepressants that are sometimes prescribed for urinary stress incontinence that is caused by surgery. A consultation with the senior’s doctor is recommended to determine if this is a viable option. 

It can be difficult to help your elderly loved one deal with the aftereffects of prostrate surgery. This is especially true if you are the caregiver, to your elderly father. Offering a positive attitude that these side effects most often clear up on their own can be helpful. If you need more information for general questions you can click on a site that is offered by