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Recent Radical Prostatectomy

stepjnsj's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: Oct 2010

I recently had Radical Prostatectomyon Sept. 20, 2010 and I am curious about how long does being in control continence after surgery. Is this a on going problem or does this problem get better over time for some men. However I know that is is rather early for me right now , and I have been doing the exercises and I am not sure that they are working for me right now.

lewvino's picture
Posts: 1010
Joined: May 2009

I wish I had a perfect answer for you but each man is do different on dealing with this.

It should get better in time. I was one of the lucky ones with no issue on the continenance control.

Some things you can try are avoiding certain foods and beverages, spicy foods, caffeine, lemonade were some I was told by the Doctor to avoid.

Of course keep in touch with your Doctor for advise as on this as you continue to heal.


stepjnsj's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: Oct 2010

Thank you for the comment and I am looking forward a good recovery I think that I am on the right track just have to keep in mind that there is no quick solution for this issue. Again thank you


HillBillyNana's picture
Posts: 107
Joined: Jun 2009

My husband had the RP at age 68. Wore the catheter for two weeks. He wore the pads a few days but quickly was able to control his urine. He wore little pads for several weeks "just in case". He says he had some leaks when he would sneeze or bend over or do some strenuous work. Strenuous work means lifting and moving huge rocks and digging and replanting bushes in our yard. He did the Kegels faithfully. He wears TIGHT Levis and says 'be sure to unbutton that top button' because it puts pressure on the incision and makes you leak. He wears a small pad when he goes somewhere because he feels like he may have an 'accident'. He says use a makeshift pad made from a paper towel folded several times. Then you don't have to say you are wearing a pad. Mind games I guess. We are hoping the best for you in your recovery. We are happy with the outcome of his RP. The surgeon did the nerve-sparing and it worked. Mr. Nana says, 'be sure to take your Viagra to keep the blood flowing'. Let us know how you progress.

stepjnsj's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: Oct 2010

Thank you for your reply and I am looking forward from here. I had the surgery last month and I seems to be doing fine the doc said I am going to experiment with Viagra to get back some control also to keep things working.

Thank You

gkoper's picture
Posts: 174
Joined: Apr 2009

I had RP in May of 2009...it took me about a month to go w/o pads. Now I sometimes drip when I exert myself as I am very involved in athletics. Do all you can to get your machinery back up and working. Pills & or pump, anything that gets it running......use it or lose it.....& it might keep "shrinkage at bay". Good luck Stephen.


griff 1
Posts: 114
Joined: Jun 2010

you,ll do good. i had mine on the 23rd of june (robiotic) and after the cath came out i wore pads for about 1 month. mianly for security. just go one day at a time and it will work out. good luck to you and i,m glad you foun g our site. griff

CharlieG's picture
Posts: 67
Joined: Mar 2010

I am right there with you... I had my RP surgery on 9/14 and amd just starting to get "some control" after two weeks of having the cath out. Dr. Walsh's book says that there are three phases... 1. Control when lying down 2. Control when walking 3. Control when urgency.

I am just starting to feel like I have some control when lying down. So, I stay in the recliner after drinking a glass of water (or whatever) and when I feel the urge (happens pretty often) I try to get up and make a stream vs. just leak, leak, leak.

Hang in there. As everyone says, everyone is different but generally it is rare to not get some pretty good control back over time.

Skid Row Tom's picture
Skid Row Tom
Posts: 125
Joined: Apr 2010

To answer your question, and from what my Johns Hopkins surgeon said, it will take up to six months to regain control. Some will gain control sooner than others, but at six months, "what you see is what you get". My local urologist said the same thing. If you have little or no control after six months (like me), most doctors will not do any type of surgical intervention until one year after your surgery. I ended up with an artificial urinary sphincter implant which resolved about 95% of my incontinence.

Posts: 227
Joined: Apr 2010

Hey SRTom, how are you doing???....Been two months and my AUS is working just as you had said. Yes, it is a pain to activate each and every time you go to the bathroom, but not having to have to worry about pads is sooooooo nice....None in my glove compartment, none in my golf bag, none in my beach chair, and sometimes I forget, and none in my pocket...It is sooooo nice. Only downside, is the tubing which I feel in my testicle...Not that big a deal, but I am not sure I would want to ride a bicycle for long...Other than that it is "Pluck your magic twanger".....You were an inspiration to me...Thanks...

jminnj's picture
Posts: 129
Joined: Nov 2009

As Larry indicated there is no perfect answer here. I am 9 months out from surgery. The first 6 to 8 weeks were a little tough. I found that by walking, keeping up with the kegels I was able to regain about 90% control by 12 weeks out. Every day after that got a little bit better. Another thing that you will need to be careful about is caffeine and alcohol. They tend to go through you a little bit quicker, so don't have that extra cup of caffeine if you are going to be in the car for a couple of hours, unless you can get to a rest stop.

Good Luck as you continue your journey


Posts: 16
Joined: Sep 2010

I am 7 weeks post surgery tomorrow. As suggested by others, walking and kegels are the difference. I did not feel I got good advice on the amount of kegels to perform and so researched a bit on what is being recommended. The first 3 weeks I was only doing 40 per day but have ramped it up to 200-300 per day. This is consistent with what I have found to be a recommended level but ramping up was probably a good thing. Followup with my surgeon confirmed that 40/day was a misunderstanding on my part. Similar to you I saw zero improvement for about the first 5-6 weeks. Very frustrating. However, just in the past week I can actually see some limited improvement some days. I think it is because of the additonal kegals. Mornings are better for me ...afternoons and evenings are bad with lots of drippage. Lots of leakage during physical activity, but again a little bit of improvement recently. Depending on what I do, I use anywhere from 1-3 pads per day. No pads at night. Havent gotten to the ED challenge yet. I would like to get past the incontinence first.
I got my 6 week PSA test back last Friday and got a big less than 0.1. What a relief. I felt like a big dark cloud disappeared from over my head and now I can focus on getting my body where I want it to be. Like all of us I am sure you look forward to getting that first test result back and there is anxiety until you do so. Since last week, I have increased my exercise level, went to the driving range and took the Harley out for the first time in 2 months. Incisions are a little tender but no big deal. My last recommendation to you is what everyone keeps telling me....be patient. (I know, easier said than done).

Posts: 79
Joined: Oct 2009

Hi Stephen,

Sorry to have to meet you on this forum - we are all in it together though.

I guess that I was one of the lucky ones, I wore pads just in case, probably only needed to wear them 2 or three times.

Ironic, that I was thinking the other day, since black men are more likely/at risk to get PC, why are there no black men posting here - it seems that it was all white men/their spouses posting here. Do you have any insight into this question?

I wish you a speedy recovery.


stepjnsj's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: Oct 2010

I would like to know all the information that I can about this issue so that I can possibly help someone else to be encouraged about being tested and know that there is life after prostate cancer that this is not the end.

Posts: 79
Joined: Oct 2009

I think that it is far far far from the end my friend, assuming that we are diligent in getting tested and catching the disease early on before it gets a foothold and spreads elsewhere in the body.

Posts: 230
Joined: Jun 2009

Welcome to CSN, you will find this is a great network. You can get a lot of good information and someone to "listen" to you here. I had radical prostatectomy March 09 at age 60. I still have some incontinence, but getting better. After catheter was removed I averaged 6-7 pads with Depends diaper daily. I admit I did not do kegels like I should then. Currently I am doing kegels daily and average 3 pads per day with briefs and a light pad overnight. I found that I need to avoid caffeine and fruit juice and uro told me to drink at least 3-4 8 oz. of water daily. As others have said, the incontinence and healing is different for everyone, but there is life after prostate cancer, maybe a little different than it was prior to your prostate cancer surgery.
Here is a great website for info about kegels: www.kegelexercisesformen.com. You can get good information about kegel exercises.

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