5 Reasons You Need Pre-hab before a Prostatectomy

Movember. It’s more than just a month to cultivate and creatively manicure facial hair.

It’s a month to bring awareness to Men’s Health issues including heart disease, mental health, and Prostate Cancer-the latter being of particular interest to this Board-Certified Pelvic Floor Specialist. Why might that be? Because one in seven males will be diagnosed with Prostate Cancer during his lifetime. That’s quite a few of the husbands, dads, grandpas, sons, uncles, brothers, and friends in our lives. In my practice, I’ve helped many patients on this journey through Prostate Cancer and recovery.

From diagnosis to treatment it’s a wild ride of symptom management and emotions so unique that no two males recover the same. I’ve noticed recently that starting Prostatectomy patients with 1-3 pre-surgical visits improves recovery from Prostatectomy.

What’s even better is that research supports this concept of Prostatectomy Pre-hab.

Here’s my take on why you need Pre-hab before Prostatectomy:

TL/TR – watch a short video instead.

Baseline Bio-Feedback

Our biofeedback device gives us a data driven assessment of the pelvic floor in comparison to related scientific normal values. It is most helpful in determining if the prostate cancer has caused the pelvic floor muscles to become too tight or if the cancer has minimized pelvic floor activity. This is very important to properly treat the condition and not make it worse. Plus, patients really enjoy the information it gives them about their body.

Early Strengthening.

You’ve probably heard about kegel exercises, but countless times in my practice, I’ve had patients start out doing them incorrectly. Meeting with a Pelvic Floor Specialist can be sure that the pelvic floor work you’re putting in before surgery is making a difference rather than contributing to the symptoms. Getting started with effective kegels, hip, and core strengthening can greatly improve the post-prostatectomy symptoms of erectile dysfunction and incontinence.

Understanding Relaxation.

Not all muscles need to be strengthened. In fact, some need to be taught to relax and allow for balance throughout the pelvis.  Pelvic Floor Specialists are very helpful in helping to achieve this balance between tight and weak muscles, then teach patients how to put this balanced effort into functions such as urinating and having effective bowel movements. Learning these mechanics prior to surgery can minimize strain on the pelvic floor from poor mechanics after surgery.

Establishing a relationship with a pelvic PT.

Finding a provider that you trust to treat you during this very difficult time of recovery and rediscovering your body is very important. Your physical therapist is a great option to reach out to with questions you may have post-surgery, after all, if they got to know you before surgery, they are very familiar with your body patterns and tendencies which therefore can lead to very specific advice to help you out. Pelvic Floor Specialists are also great at connecting you to other providers when symptoms are not looking right, or other services are needed to get you on track.

Learning what to expect.

Prostate Cancer Treatment can be overwhelming and frustrating. Having time with a Pelvic Floor Specialist before surgery can better help you with lingering concerns about surgery, catheterization, return to exercises, and what to expect in your recovery.

Apex has a team of Pelvic Floor Specialists ready to help you or a special male in your life conquer Prostate Cancer before and after prostatectomy.  With Pre-hab and post prostatectomy pelvic floor therapy, we have seen improved urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction outcomes.

Let’s change the standard of prostatectomy care for the better this Movember by advocating for pre-hab.

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