Dripping and Depends-Loss of Urine After Prostate Gland Surgery

You Don't Have to Depend On Depends!

You Don’t Have to Depend On Depends!


Prostate cancer is the second most common malignancy in men. Many men will choose to have surgery on their prostate gland and have the entire gland removed if the disease is confined to the prostate gland. Unfortunately, the sphincter, or muscle that controls urination, is often injured at the time of surgery or is included in the surgical specimen. As a result men will have problems with urination after the surgery.

There are three types of urinary incontinence may develop after prostate cancer treatment. These are stress incontinence, overflow incontinence, and urge incontinence.

If you have stress incontinence, you leak small amounts of urine when you cough, sneeze, exercise or put pressure on your bladder. Kegel exercises may help strengthen the muscles in your pelvic floor. This allows you to delay urinating until you reach a toilet.
You may have thought that Kegel exercises were something only women do. In fact, the muscles that are strengthened with Kegel exercises are the same in both sexes. (For more information on Kegel exercises, please refer to my website, http://www.neilbaum.com)

Urge incontinence occurs when your bladder suddenly contracts and expels urine. You get an urge to urinate even though you know you emptied your bladder not long before. You urinate, and then get the urge again a half-hour later. Urge incontinence often comes in waves. It may not bother you all morning, for example, but it becomes insistent mid-afternoon. In the course of a few hours you may feel the urge four or five times.

Bladder retraining helps by increasing the amount of urine your bladder can hold. In this technique you suppress your urge and gradually prolong the time between trips to the toilet. This really works, but now and then there’s a crisis. You’ve ignored the urge, and ignored it again, and suddenly you’re pretty sure you aren’t going to hold it and need to dash to the bathroom. The trick is to know when your bladder is at its limit and go to the bathroom just before you have to make that mad dash.

Prescription medications, particularly oxybutynin (Ditropan), tolterodine (Detrol) and some antidepressants, can be effective. The antidepressants aren’t treating depression: They calm the sensations that come from your bladder.

Overflow incontinence results when your bladder cannot empty completely. As a result, urine dribbles out. Alpha blocker drugs help to more fully empty the bladder.

Even if your incontinence can’t be cured, it can be managed. Absorbent underwear and highly absorbent disposable pads can be worn with everyday clothing. A condom-like device can be fitted over your penis and connected to a drainage bag. There is also a rubber clamp that can be used to compress the urethra or the tube that transports urine from the bladder through the penis to the outside of the body. Also there is a ring that can be applied to the penis that will gently compress the urethra and prevent urine loss.

Bottom Line: Fortunately, most men who have prostate gland surgery will be able to control their urination. The few who have problems with urination can be helped with exercises, medications, devices, and only rarely will need additional surgery to correct the problem.

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