Prostate and Pelvic Surgery Program
If you are a candidate for prostate (TURP or prostatectomy) or other pelvic surgery (e.g. hysterectomy, oncological), there are some things you should keep in mind. Knowing what to expect before and after the surgery can help ease many of your concerns. In addition, thorough patient education can empower you with knowledge and resources to tackle what’s to come head-on, and help you avoid pain and urinary and sexual problems after your surgery.
At our pelvic health North Carolina clinic, we are committed to your return to your prior level of full function.We will do our best to answer your questions and put your mind at ease.
Before you head into surgery, you’ll have one pre-surgical visit at our clinic. During this visit, you’ll receive a full evalutation of pelvic floor muscle (PFM) and sphincter strength.
If there is sufficient time before surgery, we will prescribe a series of PFM strengthening exercises. These exercises will help your pelvic floor muscles become stronger in order to maximize your recovery after surgery. They will likely be part of your treatment plan after surgery as well.
Patient Education to Maximize Healing
During your pre-op visit, your pelvic floor physical therapist will discuss with you what to expect after the operation. You’ll learn what to do to speed up healing and how to avoid complications and discomfort.
One of the most important things you’ll have to do after surgery is to protect the surgical anastomosis to ensure full healing. To avoid rupturing of the connections made during surgery, you’ll have to follow a regimen that includes limiting physical exertion as much as possible. You will also have to avoid valsalva. This is something many of us do throughout our day-to-day life, such as when lifting or standing up from a seated position. Although usually harmless, the pressure created by this action can be dangerous after surgery.
Your therapist will also talk to you about reducing bladder irritants, including certain foods and drinks to avoid, as well as strategies for maximizing bowel health to avoid straining of the surgical repair. Because your pelvic muscles will be weakened right after surgery, you will also learn how to lift, sit and stand properly to avoid putting pressure on your pelvis.
After your surgery, you will need between three and five visits to help with the healing process and to adequately strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.The first visit should happen soon after your catheter is removed. Your pelvic floor physical therapist will perform a pelvic floor muscle exam using biofeedback to determine your current strength and endurance.
These post-surgical visits will focus on teaching you a tailored strengthening program you can follow at home in order to help you return to full function. You will be monitored through the program to assess your progress and to make changes as needed.
Education For the Future
In order to keep your pelvic floor healthy, you might need to make some changes in everyday life. Your doctor will discuss potential ideas with you, including:
- Managing dietary changes
- Behavioral factors, including levels of physical activity and movement
- Functional movement
- Sexual behavior and adaptation
Keep in mind that some of these changes might be temporary, while your body heals after the surgery. Others are recommendations you might need to follow for the long-term. While some of these changes are optional, incorporating them into your life can keep your pelvis or prostate healthier and prevent problems later in life.
Call Dr. Erika Grace today if you are planning or have had prostate or other pelvic surgery in order to maximize your healing and return to full function.