Fitness, Weight, Overall Health and Incontinence

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 5/24/2007 7:07 PM (GMT -6)   
My Friends,
I'm now one week away from my surgery (May 31 '07) and these recent posts about other fellows, also in their early '50s, who have had the DaVinci surgery and are suffering so bad from incontinence have got me a little worried.  My wife has suggested that these problems could be affected, to some degree, by weight and fitness.  I'm 5'10" 175lbs and in moderate, desk-jockey, pencil-pushing, weekend lawn mowing, occassional bouts of exercise kind of guy.  I know I'm outa shape. Though I've tried periods of pilates and walking, I'm way far from where I wanted to be going into this surgery.  But now its too late, except for some last minute walking and maybe a few leg lifts and kegels.
So, what do you think?  Those of you who are having the difficulties with incontinence, are you willing to share any comments about your overall health and condition? Do you think these kinds of factors make a difference?
Sign me,
Wondering and a bit anxious

Age, 53
PSA 3.76, Gleason 6, T1c, scans negative
psa doubling time 35 months
Da vinci robotic scheduled for Thursday, May 31

Post Edited (naimnut) : 5/24/2007 7:59:27 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 411
   Posted 5/24/2007 8:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Well, 5'10 and 175 certainly isn't terribly overweight at all, would say you are well within the range of normal weight? I think the most important thing is doing the kegals before and after. As long as you are in reasonably good shape and health, I don't think being a marathon runner, buffed up etc. makes too much a difference.

probably the most important thing is the surgeon. Followed by kegals, I think.

Ken is 6'3 about 215 going into surgery, was by no means in "excellent" shape, although tried to walk, hike, etc. This was hindered by a badly sprained ankle he got the weekend before his biopsy, and took at least two months to heal enough to be able to walk alot, couldn't ski (which is our normal winter exercise, etc).

His incontinence is doing great (well, according to shedule, not "instantly" continent like some I have heard about). But at one month past catheter, virtually no leakage.

But he did make sure to do his kegals since almost the beginning of diagnosis. That muscle can get exercise even when your ankle is up.

I would focus on the kegals, and yes, some walking will do a body good, and stairs whenever you can do them. When are you having surgery?

Age: 63
Diagnosed: 10/30/06
PSA: 3.7 (2005: 3.4, 2004: 4.0)
Biopsy: 1/10 cancerous, 5% of one core, right apex.
Gleason: 3+3=6
Da Vinci: April 10, 2007, Denver CO
Path results: 1% of prostate involved. Very small tumors on both right and left apex. Negative margins, negative seminal vessicles, lymph nodes left intact. Gleason upgraded 3+4=7.
1st PSA Results: May 11, 2007 <.01

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 823
   Posted 5/24/2007 10:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Naimnut. I got my biopsy results the first week in February. When I learned that, I started trying to lose weight. When I decided on radical surgery, my surgeon told me I needed to lose 40-45 lbs. I went on a diet like never before even thought I have been overweight most of my life. I have been going to the gym and doing 1.5-2.0 miles walking most days along with weight machines. I have lost almost 50 pounds and my surgery is May 30. My Dr. is pleased with my progress and he told me If he was going to save my life with this surgery, he made me promise I would take better care of myself so I would not die on a heart atttack later. I am going to keep my promise not only to him but myself, my family and my grandson who is coming in August. Good luck to you with your surgery and I'll be thinking of you when I have my surgery and hope to talk with you on the other side.

Take care-mvesr

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 365
   Posted 5/24/2007 10:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Naimnut: Like you, I was "in shape," I guess, at 6'3" and about 198 pounds. But I was not a person who exercised heavily, just the occasional walk etc. And I didn't have any time to get my abs firmed up or do many Kegels before my surgery. I lucked out and got a slot that another patient had cancelled. After my surgeon found out how much beer I drank he was amazed that I had no fat in my gut or around my organs. Must be an Irish thing.

The good news is, I have been pad-free since week-seven post op, and I am not a religious Kegeler. I do them when I think about it, but not as a steady diet. Don't take my advice on that one though. Do your Kegels.

You'll be fine.
Best to ya,

54 years old

PSA = First ever was 9.8 in late Oct. ‘06, two weeks later, 10.1

DRE: Negative

Biopsy results 11/22/06 (6 out of 8 cores positive), both lobes, Gleason 3+3 = 6

Da Vinci Robotic RP surgery, City of Hope, Jan 12, 2007

Post surgery pathology – Organ confined, Gleason still 6, margins clear.

First post-surgery PSA -- Undetectable, 2/20/07

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 762
   Posted 5/25/2007 4:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Dear Naimnut, My husband did not have di vinci, but rather open surgery, so not sure if this is helpful. 
With help from lawink below I've done some calculations and prior to recent surgery Naimnut, my husband was in the higher ranges of weight, and has always been "classified" as overweight for his height,  according to most tables.  He lost about 30 pounds prior to surgery, and felt generally good and fitter. He has (thankfully) been fully continent with no leaking since surgery.

Re. exercise, my husband can't exercise the way others do, so he did not do nearly as much exercise as others would have, but he did what he could at the time and after .  I believe therefore that it is also the attitude of hope going into surgery that assists healing, not just the physical preparation beforehand. We personally had to have this attitude, as my husband also considered he was a little out of shape too.

However he flew through the recent experience of prostate surgery with his attitude. I am not sure if this is relevant, so please just take whatever is helpful as I realise your situation may be completely different, however my husband is of similiar age.

All the very best of luck to you and your wife.

Husband (49 years) diagnosed Dec 2006.  In 1 x (5%) core of 12 samples. Other 11 samples were negative. Gleeson 4 + 3 = 7, revised to
3 + 4 = 7 at post op pathology. PSA 3.5. Open Radical Prostatectomy, with nerve sparing on Tuesday 17th April 2007.  No spread outside prostate in any areas, negative margins including apex and bladder base. Seminal vessicles clear. Tumour extent (size) 0.2cm3. No nerve/lymph involvement. No vascular infiltration seen. Catheter out on day 7,  and fully continent (immediate and continuing to this time). Not using pads. Next PSA 4 June 07.

Post Edited (creed_three) : 5/27/2007 5:54:35 AM (GMT-6)

Cedar Chopper
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 432
   Posted 5/25/2007 5:36 AM (GMT -6)   


Your overall health will certainly be important!  Your ability to walk after surgery (Important!) will be easier if you are in better health.  Your body will recover faster if you are in better health.  Your attitude will likely be better (Important!) if you are in better health.  I'm sure Swim could add a dozen other correlating examples!

As to how this will impact your liklihood for incontinence issues, it's not so simple.  Everyone is different.  Bodies are different.  The more your bladder is stretched after the prostrate is removed, the longer it will likely take the smooth muscle (unconscious) controlled valve on the bladder to cooperate. 

As Tanya said, the more experienced the physician and the more Kegels you do the better.  Kegel activity not only gives you some conscious control of the urethra, it also stimulates the very area that will have to heal & learn a new way to control urination.

Everyone has more or less problems with incontinence.  As Creed said, be optimistic about being one of the fortunate ones.  But be patient as needed.  Optimism - even in the face of an unwanted challenge -  is a healthier state than disappointment!



2 Years of PSA between 4 and 5.5
Biopsy 23DEC06 
Only 5 percent cancer in one of 8 samples.
Gleeson 3+3=6
Radical Prostatectomy 16FEB07 at age 54.
1+" tumor - touching inside edge of gland.
Texas Hill Country
FRESH Produce Department Manager
Have you had your 5 colors today?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 621
   Posted 5/25/2007 7:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Creed! I know your measurement familiarity is in stones, but you did mention kilograms . . .so when someone in here says 175 pounds does it help to know that 2.2 pounds are equal to one kilogram so that equals 79.5 kilograms.

Naimnut, you sound abit like my husband who looks good but isn't overly active and did just fine with surgery. I think the biggest risks are the significantly overweight people undergoing surgery, and even they often come through just fine, just more risk involved.

Good luck! Pretty soon you'll be on the other side and this too will be behind you and you'll be on the road to healing.

;o) Bob & Linda
Bob (61) - Laproscopic Prostate Removal Sept 27, 2006.
2 of 12 malignant biopsy samples - gleason 3 + 3 = 6.
Pathology - cancer completely contained, even a second more aggressive, previously undetected cancer)

Bob also has two secondary conditions -- Polycythemia (elevated red & white cells & platelets) and . . Myelofibrosis) -- If anyone has experience with or information on these, please email us.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 5/26/2007 8:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for your encouragement. I can hardly believe this is happening to me.

Days now, no turning back.
Age, 53
PSA 3.76, Gleason 6, T1c, scans negative
psa doubling time 35 months
Da vinci robotic scheduled for Thursday, May 31

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 5/26/2007 9:51 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Markus,


Positive thoughts are never too late!!!  It’s time to let any negatives go…

We are on the stepping-stone with you that will take you to the other side.

Take a nice deep breath… and know that we are all there with you.   :-)  


Stop thinking for now…. Let your body store up strength and positive energy…

Deal with what comes ~ and know that you will be okay through it all. 

Taking one-day-at-a-time… will help you to get through this.


Yes ~ continue doing kegels…. And get your mind set on getting yourself ready for the recover/healing process. 


Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you move forward in your journey.

In Friendship ~ Lee & Buddy


Special hugs are being sent to you from “all of us”  on the thread below…

Group Hugs for Markus *Naimnut Surgery Day ~ Thursday, May 31st

Reminder … click on the REFRESH icon once you get there)


mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… from North Carolina

J  We invite you to visit our personal thread:  Click Here:  “Our Journey” ~ Sharing is Caring 

April 3, 2006  53 on surgery day

RRP / Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy with "wide excision"

PSA 4.6   Gleason  3+3=6    T2a   Confined to Prostate

2nd PSA 02-06-2007 Less than 0.1 Non-Detectable :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 5/27/2007 5:46 AM (GMT -6)   
I've often wondered why I (age 50 at surgery) was one of the fortunate with very little continent issues after RRP at Hopkins this past August.  I used one pad a day (on the bad days the pads were 95% DRY) for 28 days.  I know I was blessed by the Lord and the skill of my surgeon (Partin).  I also have always wondered if my pre-surgery exercise regimen had anything to do with my lack of a real continence issue.  I've been a runner for the past 17 or so years.  I stay in half-marathon shape year-round.  I didn't do a lot of kegel exercises before or after surgery.  Started running again six weeks after surgery....slowly and for short distances at first just to test everything out.  No problem.  Not a single drop.  After a week, I increased a weekend run to 7 miles in 1 hour five minutes and haven't looked back ever since. 
I've often thought about what was different with me from others I know.  The exercise regimen was the big difference.  I've often wondered if my running shape was a reason for my virtual lack of incontinence following RRP.
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