Incontinent after surgery

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Piano Guy
New Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/24/2009 2:30 PM (GMT -6)   
On August 17, 2009, I had a radical retropubic prostatectomy.  Ten days later I was taken back to sugery to remove a suture that was accidently looped around the catheter making it impossible to remove the catheter.  After this procedure I could not pass any urine.  Another catheter was inserted for one week.  After removal of that catheter I could not urinate.  Back to surgery for a procedure using a "hot loop" to open the bladder neck that had scar tissue blocking it.  Now I leak urine whenever I stand or walk, but not while sitting or reclining .  I am so tired of the pads.  I went to the Cleveland Clinic on Wednesday and talked with Dr. Montague about his artificial sphincter.  He said to wait 6 months and come back.  Is there any hope of reviving a normal urination method?  I am 71 years old and very healthy otherwise.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 147
   Posted 10/24/2009 2:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi from England. I think that at 2 months out from surgery and having had a problem with blockages it is a little early to start thinking of further treatment for incontinence. My own healing took 3 to 4 months before I had say 90% control over leaking, and apart from an infection I had no other problems after the op. Good luck, and I am sure you will notice some improvement over the next few weeks. By the way I found pads very hot and sticky whilst I was using them, but that was during the summer months.

Diagnosed February 2009. Gleason 6, Psa 7.2, 12 core biopsy, and then Mri scan, which showed organ specific.
DaVinci at Addenbrookes, Cambridge, England 18th May 2009.  Nerves removed one side.
Catheter in for 8 days, no pain, no post op problems apart from an infection, cleared with antibiotics.
Some aching around the penis, which still occurs.
6 week psa 0.1, post op pathology all good, confirming pre op tests. Ed a problem, no treatment as yet.
Light ladies pad during the day, just to control a slight dampness and a Tena for  men pad at night for occassional leakage.
Awaiting 3 month consultation at the moment.
Sept 09 - still awaiting consultation. 99% dry during the day, tena pad at night just in case.
Sept 18th 09. PSA less than 0.1
Sept 29th follow up consultation at Addenbrookes. All ok at the moment
Virtually dry at the moment.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 202
   Posted 10/24/2009 6:52 PM (GMT -6)   
The simple answer is "yes", there is hope. From what I've read, it can sometimes take several months to regain continence.
I agree with your doctor in saying you should give it more time before considering an artificial sphincter.

Sorry to hear you're having this problem. I hope it resolves itself within the next few months.


PSA 5/22/06: 5.6
DaVinci surgery: 9/14/06
Gleason: 3+3
Organ confined, clean margins.
Both nerve bundles spared.

Piano Guy
New Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/24/2009 8:03 PM (GMT -6)   
It is somewhat re-assuring that there are other men facing problems after prostste surgery.  Your experiences are sure to be helpful to many of us. When I am feeling down about this problem I try to thank God that the procedure was successful in eliminating the cancer in my prostate.  All indications are positive that the cancer is gone.  God bless all of you gentlemen.
Piano Guy

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 10/24/2009 8:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Piano Man,

I had a few complications after surgery, and had catheters inserted and removed for a month after surgery. After that, I was completely incontinent for almost a month, and then there was gradual, almost unnoticeable improvements. For a while, I carried "doggy doo" bags in my laptop bag to use when disposing of saturated pads at work. Three months after surgery I realized that I didn't need to dispose of pads at work any more. Now, at four months after surgery, I'm finding that the one pad a day I use is almost dry when I throw it away. I expect that soon the pad will be completely dry and I'll have the incontinence problem solved.

In general, from what I have read on this forum and elsewhere, most men find things getting better at about three months after RRP surgery.

For me, it will take a little longer. I find that recovery of control is a very gradual process that requires patience and being aware of small improvements. Your experience may turn out to be similar to mine.
Living in the northern Atlanta suburbs.
Good health and no symptoms when my annual physical uncovered an elevated PSA.
Diagnosis at age 55: PSA 4.6 - positive biopsy 3 of 12 cores - Gleason 3+3=6.
open Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy with bilateral lymphadenectomy on 6/18/2009.
Pathology report after surgery showed negative margins, cancer contained in capsule
(60 gram sample, Gleason 3+3=6, T2c N0 MX).
PSA at 4 months after surgery <0.1 (all other problems are minor considering being cancer-free).
Catheters required on-and-off for 34 days after surgery due to recurring urinary retention.
Anal fissure due to trauma to rectum from biopsy, surgery, and antibiotic-induced diarrhea.
Scheduled for repair of Spigelian Hernia due to pulling of abdominal muscles during RRP.
Using 1 pad during the day for occasional stress incontinence, dry at night (16 weeks after surgery).
Taking Cialis for ED with no joy so far.

DS Can
Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 195
   Posted 10/24/2009 8:59 PM (GMT -6)   

Welcome to Healingwell, Piano Guy. 

I hope that you continue to recover in the next few months. Do you have a signature to post so that we can follow your progress?

Keep healing,




PSA 01/07 1.2, PSA 01/08 1.9, PSA 01/09 2.5
BIOPSY 02/24/09  PCa DX age 52
Right: 3+3=6, 3/6 cores 10% involved,PNI-Y
Left:  3+3=6, 1/7 cores <5% involved,PNI-N
LARP 04/09/09 nerve sparing. Final pathology:
GS 3+4=7, Margins uninvolved, 2 lymph nodes negative
Catheter out 04/17,1st no-pad day 05/03
25 mg Viagra nightly;100 mg:not ready for prime time
Followup PSA 05/28/09, 08/20/09 <0.1

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 10/24/2009 9:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Piano guy,

I'm Pad Free as of this week! It's been over 4 months but finally here. The leaks slowly dried up and will do likewise for you.

routine yearly physical PSA 7.9
biopsy positive 04/2009
Da Vinci @ Vanderbilt 06/2009
Gleason 3+4
PSA 08/2009 0.1

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 883
   Posted 10/24/2009 10:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Piano, I would hold out for atleast 6 months. You never know how your body is going to adjust to the changes. If for some reason it does not then you can decide which direction you want to go with treatments.
    43 at Dx and Surgery (RRP)
    PSA 5.7, Biopsy 3 of 12 positive (up to 75%) all on left side of prostate, Gleason 7
    RRP on Oct. 17, 2006 - Nerves on right side saved. All Lab's clear. 
    Cathiter in for 28 days due to complications in healing. Removed Nov. 9, 2006
     Dec. 2006 – Oct. 2008 Cystoscope, Two Collagen injections,Second Opinion   
    Consultation for Incontinance at OU Medical Center, Bio-Feedback       
    training, Chiropractic, Accupuncture , AdVance Male Sling, Two More Collagen 
    injections, AUS Installed and Activated (Dr. Morey at UT Southwestern Dallas TX)
    All to try to resolve incontinence (using 6-8 Depends Guards a day)

    To Date All PSA's 0.00.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 10/25/2009 7:11 PM (GMT -6)   
The fact that you have some control is a good sign -- things are moving in the right direction. We learned at about age three that peeing in our pants was "bad" and so it is very hard to be back in that situation. But as others have said, you have months to go before even thinking that you will not recover. Take heart, live life!
Age at diagnosis 66, PSA 5.5
Biopsy 12/08 12 cores, 8 positive
Gleason 3+4=7
CAT scan, Bone scan 1/09 both negative.

Robotic surgery 03/03/09 Catheter Out 03/08/09
Pathology: Lymph nodes & Seminal vesicles negative
Margins positive, Capsular penetration extensive Gleason 4+3=7
6 weeks: 1 pad/day, 1 pad/night -- mostly dry at night.
10 weeks: no pad at night -- slight leakage day/1 pad.
3 mo. PSA 0.0 - now light pads
6 mo. PSA 0.00 -- 1 light pad/day

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 10/25/2009 10:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Piano Guy,

I had surgery to remove strictures in December 2008. This was a result of a prostatectomy in August 2007. I was almost totally continent after the prostatectomy but almost totally incontinent after the stricture removal.

It was recommended and I concur, that it is probably best to allow about a year before you give up on your natural sphincter and install an artificial. I, like you, don't leak at night while lying down, or when I'm sitting during the day. It has taken some adjustment to be able to maintain a social life but it gets better.

I measure progress by how long I can hold urine after getting up. It seems to get better as time goes by. I have an appointment in November with an incontinence specialist at M D Anderson to discuss options.

Hope you have the patience to wait a while.
Dx'd 1999, Age 60, PSA 43, Gleason (3+4=7), T3c
42-3d EBRT w/Lupron/Casodex for 24 months.
July 2001 - Intermittent ADT. Lupron only, MDAnderson biopsy revised Gleason (4+5=9).
March 2007 - Diminishing returns with Lupron, Prostate biopsy (5+4=9) in unradiated lobe.
August 2007 - RRP and bilateral orchiectomy. PSA <0.1
99% continent immediately
Sept 2008 - PSA 0.45, Nov 2008 - PSA 0.67,
Dec 2008 - Resume Casodex, Stricture in bladder neck requiring surgical removal. 99% incontinent immediately.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 102
   Posted 10/26/2009 9:33 AM (GMT -6)   
It has been 4 weeks since the catheter was removed and believe it or not thing do improve however VERY slowly. Day one I was a gusher and couldn't control my voiding at all. Now I am still on 6-8 pads a day but I can hold it through the night; I can stop urinating mid stream ( a good exercise) and most of the time when I go from a sitting to a standing position I can hold most of it before I get to the bathroom. Baby steps; I know how you feel, I am very impatient too.
Age: 65
DX: 7/10/09
Gleason: 7
Biopsey: 2 chips with some cancer cells out of 30.
Robotic Surgery: 9/10/09
Cath out: 9/23/09
1st post op PSA: 10/20/09: <0.0

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 10/26/2009 10:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Piano guy,

Believe me, I know EXACTLY how you feel. I had a DaVinci RRP on Oct. 13 st the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, had the catheter for 10 days, it was removed last Fri., and haven't been able to hold a drop of urine since, although like you I'm ok sitting or lying down. I detest the pads, feel filthy, and hate going anywhere. But I have faith and you should too that things will get better. Everything I've read, including posts on this forum, everything the docs and nurses have told me, make me believe this is temporary. I agree with your surgeon that it's way too early to give up on regaining continence and be thinking about the artificial sphincter. Hang in there!

Age: 66
4/14 cores with adenocarcinoma
DaVinci RRP- 10/13/09
Capsule, margins, seminal vesicles negative
Catheter removed 10/23/09

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 292
   Posted 10/26/2009 10:28 AM (GMT -6)   
It is a bit of a shock when you present yourself for catheter removal and you end up following the doctor around the office like a dog on a leash! My catheter hung up on a stitch too. It did not make for a happy day. This was two weeks post surgery.
However, my doc just said to wait a few days to see what developed. He figured a few days more and the stitches would dissolve a bit more on their own. Two days later I removed the catheter myself at home. It took a bit of a tug to get the stitch to pop but no more than I got in the doctors office. I'd gladly trade a day or four for not getting cut open again.
Continence developed over time after that but it developed. I believe I did pass a 1/4-1/2" piece of suture in the next few days. Either that or someone slipped some fishing line in my shorts.
It just makes me wonder how someone came up with a definition for "normal." I doubt anyone on this board had a completely normal experience.
Diagnosed at 54
PSA 8.7
Biopsy 1/7/09
4 of 6 cores positive, one at 90%
Gleason 3+4=7
Neg bone scan 1/15/09
One shot Lupron Depot 1/27/09
Tax Season
RP 4/29/09
Neg lymph nodes, postive seminal vesicle, 1 positive margin
Gleason 3+4=7 with tertiary 5
Catheter out at 2 weeks no nighttime incontinence
Pad free week 5
PSA 6/6/09 <0.1
PSA 9/10/09 <0.1

Worried Guy
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 3742
   Posted 10/27/2009 8:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Piano Guy
I hear you. I'm a month ahead of you and I'm already tired of being a leaker. I went from 7 pads per day to 3 pads per day in about a month but I've seen no progress since.
I'll probably go to HealingWell jail for saying this but I did a couple of things that worked for short term when I absolutely had to be "continent" for a day or 2:
I limited fluids until I had a headache and was constipated. (one pint per day total)
I used a Cunningham clamp for a short while. (an hour max)

I don't recommend doing these things. I'm just saying they kept the pee out of my pads and put it in the toilet.
It will get better... It will get better... It will get better...
(Don't you wish you could "fast forward"?)
DX Age 56. First routine PSA test on April 8th: 17.8.
May PSA: 22.6, 3 weeks later: PSA: 23.2.
Biopsy 6/10/09: 7/12 scores positive, Gleason 6=3+3. Bone scan and C/T scan negative.
RP DaVinci -7/21/2009 @ Univ of Roch Medical Center
Left nerve gone, right partial spared.
Catheter removed - 7/31/2009 Pathology report received:
Gleason 3+4=7 Tumor size: 2.5 x 1.8 cm location: both lobes and apex. No Malignancy in Seminal Vesicle, vasa deferentia, lymph nodes 0/13
Extraprostatic extension present; Perineural invasion: present, extensive
Prostate mass 56 grams. Pathologic Stage: pT3aN0MX
Post Surgery Status:
Potency - 10/05 10 weeks, Still no activity
Incontinence - 8/20 4 full pads per day
. 9/7 3-4 full pads per day (I'm going to try cutting down on fluids. Bad idea. I know.)
9/17 2 months: Still 3 pads per day.
10/5 10 weeks: Still 3 pads per day. At this rate I'll be fine in 2012.
Post Surgery PSA - 9/3 6 weeks- 0.05, 10/13 3 months- 0.004 undetectable.

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