Should You Start Pelvic Floor Exercises Before Prostate Surgery?

If you're having robotic prostate cancer surgery, then you'll usually have a quicker recovery time than if you had open surgery. However, you may still have to deal with some of the same after-effects once the operation is over, like incontinence. Your medical team may have talked to you about this and told you that post-surgical pelvic floor exercises help sort out these bladder problems.

In some cases, starting pelvic floor exercises before your surgery makes it easier to deal with any potential incontinence problems after it. How can pelvic floor exercises help, and why should you start them early?

Pelvic Floor Exercises and Incontinence

As well as dealing with your prostate, your robotic surgery may affect muscles or nerves that control the bladder, giving you incontinence issues. Some men have minor bladder blips after prostate surgery, like leaking when sneezing or coughing; others have more serious problems like needing to urinate frequently and urgently.

This is usually a temporary problem; however, you can help things get better by exercising your pelvic floor. The exercises your medical team will show you strengthen the pelvic muscles that help control urination and bowel movements, allowing you to give your bladder a recovery boost.

Why Start Early?

Toning your pelvic floor muscles is like any kind of muscle-building exercise. It takes time to strengthen these muscles. You may also need a while to get into the groove of doing the exercises correctly and at a high-enough rate to make a difference.

While starting exercises after surgery still helps if you have some incontinence, you may have a longer lead time until you see benefits. You'll be learning how to do the exercises from scratch and will have a wait until they start to take effect.

However, if you start pelvic floor exercises before your robotic prostate surgery, then your muscles will have a stronger starting point. You'll already have built them up. This may reduce any bladder problems you do have. You will also have had time to adapt the exercises into your daily routine, making it easier to pick them up again after your operation.

If you want to start exercising your pelvic floor muscles before your robotic prostate cancer surgery, then talk to your surgeon or nurse. To get the best results, you need to do the right exercises, and your medical team will be able to point you in the right direction.