Regain Control of Your Bathroom Breaks

Behavioral therapy program improve incontinence after radical prostatectomy

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) It is not uncommon for a man to have incontinence (loss of bladder control) after undergoing prostate removal surgery.

In fact, as much as 65 percent of men have bladder control problems.

Researchers found that men who went through a behavioral training program had fewer incontinence episodes - unintentional leakages of urine.

The program involved pelvic floor muscle training, bladder control strategies, and fluid management. After 8 weeks of behavioral therapy, the number of incontinence episodes was cut by more than half.

"Behavioral training can help men regain bladder control."

Patricia S. Good, M.S.N., M.D., from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues studied 208 men who had incontinence for one to 17 years after radical prostatectomy (prostate removal surgery).

The men were split into three groups. The first group went through 8 weeks of behavioral therapy consisting of pelvic floor muscle training, bladder control strategies, and fluid management.

The second group did the same behavioral therapy as well as biofeedback - which helps patients correctly contract pelvic floor muscles - and pelvic floor electrical stimulation - which maximizes pelvic floor contractions and helps the urethra close more tightly.

The third group served as a control.

After 8 weeks, the group undergoing behavioral therapy went from having an average of 28 incontinence episodes per week to 13 episodes per week, a 55 percent reduction.

Among patients patients who underwent behavioral therapy plus biofeedback and pelvic floor electrical stimulation, there was a 51 percent reduction in incontinence episodes.

While biofeedback and pelvic floor electrical stimulation are commonly used, these results show that they do not improve results when compared to behavioral therapy on its own.

According to the authors, behavioral therapy should be recommended to men with continuing bladder control problems following prostate removal surgery.

Men who undergo behavioral therapy are likely to have long-lasting improvements to their bladder control as well as their quality of life.

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Review Date: 
April 5, 2011
Last Updated:
April 7, 2011