Exercise may prevent incontinence from prostate surgery

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 744
   Posted 1/7/2010 4:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Exercise may prevent incontinence from prostate surgery

Amy Norton
Thu Jan 7, 2010 10:46am EST
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A healthy weight and regular exercise may help protect men from one of the most common side effects of prostate cancer surgery, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that among 165 men who had their prostate glands removed due to cancer, those who were not obese and were getting regular exercise before surgery had the lowest prevalence of long-term urinary incontinence.

What's more, even among obese men, those who had been physically active before surgery were less likely to be incontinent one year after surgery.

All of the men in the study had undergone radical prostatectomy, where a surgeon removes the prostate gland and some of the surrounding tissue. Urinary incontinence and sexual dysfunction are common side effects, though both often improve over time.

So far, most efforts to prevent lasting side effects have focused on improving surgical techniques -- limiting damage to the nerves, muscles and blood vessels around the prostate gland.

But these latest findings suggest that there are also lifestyle measures men can take to cut their risk of lingering urinary incontinence, said lead researcher Dr. Kathleen Y. Wolin, an assistant professor of surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

"This is another reason for men to get up and get active," she told Reuters Health in an interview.

In general, men with prostate cancer, like all other men, are encouraged to follow a healthy lifestyle, which includes regular exercise. A study published last month found that among men with prostate cancer, those who got as little as 15 minutes of exercise per day had lower death rates than inactive men during the two-decade study period.

"We strongly recommend that men with prostate cancer talk with their physicians about how to fit physical activity into their lives if they are currently sedentary," Wolin said.

For their study, published in the Journal of Urology, Wolin and her colleagues looked at urinary incontinence rates among 165 men roughly one year after radical prostatectomy. Before surgery, all of the men had reported on their exercise habits; those who said they exercised for at least one hour per week were considered active.

Overall, the researchers found that obese, sedentary men had the highest rate of long-term incontinence, at 41 percent. Active, non-obese men had the lowest rate, at 16 percent.

Among obese men who were physically active, one-quarter were incontinent, which was identical to the rate among non-obese, inactive men -- suggesting, the researchers say, that exercise can offset the negative effects of obesity.

Exactly why exercise might prevent incontinence is unclear. One possibility, Wolin said, is that exercisers have better overall muscle tone, which may help with bladder control.

Another potential reason is that long-time exercisers are more likely to follow their doctors' advice on performing post-surgery Kegel exercises, which strengthen the pelvic-floor muscles and may improve incontinence and sexual function.

According to Wolin, more studies are needed to see whether certain types and intensities of exercise are more effective than others -- and how exercise habits after prostate surgery may affect long-term incontinence risk.

SOURCE: Journal of Urology, February 2010.

Intersting article, imo. But I guess shouldn't be too suprised.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 673
   Posted 1/7/2010 4:58 PM (GMT -6)   

Good post. I'm a firm believer in being fit before sugery (or in general). I was pretty much dry 48 hours after catheter removal. I wore a pad for a bit for security. Was that my fitness, my surgeon's skill or my luck of the draw...or all of these combined? Can't say for sure but, this study indicates fitness is a factor. ED? Well, maybe I didn't do enough push-ups. But, trimix is working.

My fitness level wasn't that of an athlete. But, it was good for me and my age.


-Nov/Dec 07, March 08 and Dec 08: Severe perineum pain . Septra/Bactrim for 8 months for diagnosed prostatitis.
-PSA start of 2008: 5.3..... PSA June of 2008: 7.3
-14 DRE all benign or nothing felt
-TRUS Biopsy Nov 08: 5 of 8 cores positive GS 3+3 or 6. 30-65%. Perineural invasion.
-General Health: pretty good, 5' 10", 180 lbs, slim.
-Open RP surgery: May 09 both nerve bundles spared. Bilateral lymph node dissection performed. Discharged 48 hours after surgery.
-Post Surgery Pathology: pT3a N0 MX, extraprostatic extension (EPE), stage III prostate cancer, lymph nodes clear, seminal vesicles clear, Gleason upraded to 3+4 GS 7. EPE within surgical margins. Other than prostate and EPE, all tissue removed negative for cancer involvement.
-Bladder control within 48 hours of catheter removal
-ED ongoing but improving significantly with Trimix at 7 months post-op. Oral ED meds didn't do much.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 1/7/2010 5:11 PM (GMT -6)   
I wonder how they define "long term incontinence"? My normal day before surgery was a 3 mi. jog on the beach and walking 9 or 18 holes of golf in the afternoon around five days/week plus a little bicycling and some yoga and occasional light weights. 6'0" and 185lbs. Now coming up on three months post-surgery I can barely manage to walk fifteen steps to the head without leaking. If I'm on my feet and active all day am using at least six pads. Sorry, but this study doesn't apply to me.

PS TC, how do I fix my screwed-up signature?


Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 2692
   Posted 1/7/2010 7:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Being 245 lbs at 6 2, I am probably considered obese. I like to refer to it as just big.

I don't jog, ride bikes, or play golf, but I am very active at work, and on weekends. Still probably not considered fit in the athletic sense.

I attributed some of that to my 8 month recovery time for IC, but it did happen. I think luck of the draw is probably more the truth than anything. I know many of you guys are much more fit than I , and some have had great success, some haven't.

From a plumbing perspective, I think it has to do also how we were built. Some prostates are right up against the bladder, so they don't have to cut out so much urethra, others are farther down, necessitating more urethra, hence more of the sphincter type muscles removed.

Age 58, PSA 4.47 Biopsy - 2/12 cores , Gleason 4 + 5 = 9
Da Vinci, Cleveland Clinic  4/14/09   Nerves spared, but carved up a little.
0/23 lymph nodes involved  pT3a NO MX
Catheter and 2 stints in ureters for 2 weeks .
Neg Margins, bladder neck negative
Living the Good Life, cancer free  6 week PSA  <.03
3 month PSA <.01 (different lab)
5 month PSA <.03 (undetectable)
6 Month PSA <.01
1 pad a day, no progress on ED.  Trimix injections

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 179
   Posted 1/8/2010 11:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Very high level of fitness here prior to surgery and no problems with incontinence or ED. There is no proof that the reason is my fitness level but I am guessing there is a direct relationship.
V10.46 Dx Feb-09
RRP 5-5-09
No adverse SE
PSA 6-19-09 -0-
PSA 9-21-09 -0-
Thriving, not just surviving!

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Tuesday, September 25, 2018 10:30 AM (GMT -6)
There are a total of 3,006,429 posts in 329,336 threads.
View Active Threads

Who's Online
This forum has 161833 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, LorrieL..
330 Guest(s), 8 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
mattamx, Kent M., physedgirl09, Admin, nakamura1967, Aerose91, Buddy Blank, iPoop