Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Monday, July 14, 2008 Margaret Prosser, Community Member, asks

Q: How long does Prostatectomy post-op incontinence last

My partner had Prostatectomy surgery on 25th June but still has great difficulty with bladder control.  Is there a time when he should see his doctor. He has an appointment for post-op check 8/8/08

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Answers (3)
Jasmine Schmidt, Health Guide
7/14/08 11:34am

Just how long incontinence is considered "normal" during the healing phase can differ from doctor to doctor, but many will allow up to a year for bladder control to be fully regained following a prostatectomy. However, I would still make sure that any incontinence is mentioned at follow-up appointments. Even if the doctor says it's still normal at this phase, he or she may be able to recommend some coping and management techniques. Also, it is very important that any post-prostatectomy patient be very vigilant about doing his pelvic floor exercises (sometimes called Kegels). Your doctor might be able to refer you to a physical therapist or biofeedback technician who specializes in pelvic floor exercises to make the most of your recovery period.

Papa, Community Member
7/17/08 7:08am

Margaret, How long he will be incontinent is not known by any doctor. Most will tell you 3-6 months, but that is just a guide and can drive you crazy if it goes longer - you feel guilty that your not normal or that you must have done something wrong (exercises) if it goes longer. Some men are incontinent for a week (lucky guys) and some for life. The rest fit in the middle. It is not an answer that sits well but it is the truth. There are many options if it persists but more surgery sometimes is just too much for many to handle. If you can, be supportive. Always though tell the doctor what is going on!   Papa

jim p, Community Member
7/19/08 4:13pm

I am 6 years after prostatectomy and still incontinent. Usually 2 or 3 pads are sufficient and on the golf course the "stress incontinence" is worse requiring a diaper. I am currently trying external catheters with a small leg bag and also trying the Mcguire urinal. At least 3 companies make the Mcguire type and they are all similar.

Each doctor has a different definition of "incontinence" and each individual's problem is different. Some get an occasional leak requiring only 1 depend pad a day. Others get a constant drip requiring wearing a leg bag all day and many leak at night in the bed. All others are somewhere inbetween.

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By Margaret Prosser, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/16/12, First Published: 07/14/08