Physiotherapy and Prostate Surgery

Prostate cancer is now the most diagnosed cancer in Australian men, and the second most common cancer to cause death in men, with over 20,000 men being diagnosed with the disease each year. Physiotherapists are encouraging people to speak more openly about men’s health and prostate cancer.  Local physiotherapist, Craig Steele wants to encourage men diagnosed with prostate cancer and who are to undergo surgery to seek pre and post surgery consultation with an appropriately trained physiotherapist.  Craig wants to raise awareness about the side effects of prostate cancer surgery, specifically incontinence and erectile dysfunction, as well as how a physiotherapist trained in pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation can help.  Up to 95% of men who have radical prostatectomy will experience incontinence, however most men will recover with the help of pelvic floor physiotherapy.

 

Whilst the awareness of treatment available for female incontinence is fairly well known, most men either don’t speak of their condition, or just assume that they need to put up with it.   Many men with prostate cancer believe that time will heal them post surgery and their continence will spontaneously return, however this is not always the case. With the help of a pelvic floor trained physiotherapist, men can regain their continence sooner.

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According to the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA), incontinence and erectile dysfunction are significant side effects arising from surgery to treat prostate cancer. Most men will be incontinent and have erectile dysfunction straight after the surgery and for around 5% of men, incontinence will persist a year later.

 

The APA encourages men to be proactive about “pre-habilitation” in preparation for prostate cancer surgery, using pelvic floor muscle exercises to help bladder control. Physiotherapy research has shown how pelvic floor exercises should be taught in order for men to benefit most from the program. These tailored exercises shorten the time and severity of men’s incontinence thus improving their quality of life.

 

If you or a loved one are about to undergo prostate surgery, or have already had an operation, physiotherapist Craig Steele from Hinteractive Physio can help you regain your pelvic floor muscle strength.  Craig has recently undergone specific training in this area with renowned physiotherapy leaders in the field.  He can be contacted on 5442 5556 to make an appointment.  As there is a great deal of education involved in this consultation, you may need to ask for an extended appointment slot.  Craig can also be contacted via email: hinteractivephysio@gmail.com

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