On your first visit to the physical therapist, you’ll likely have an evaluation. That’s because every patient reacts to surgery differently, and without an evaluation—with a real PT, not Dr. Google—you could easily end up doing the wrong exercises, says Tia Pederson, a physical therapist at Fairview Health Services in Wyoming, MN, who's a specialist in pelvic-floor dysfunction.
For example, after bladder surgery, most people need to strengthen their bladders to improve retention. But some need to do the exact opposite: They need to learn how to relax their bladders to improve voiding.
It’s also important to remember that more isn’t necessarily better, Pederson says. “Some patients will run with a program on their own and go overboard,” she says. “And that can cause pelvic pain. And then, if they hadn’t had retention issues before, they could develop them.”