Immediately after prostatectomy surgery
- Avoid straining with bowel movements (avoid constipation)
- Elevate your feet on a stool so your knees are higher than your hips
- Exhale while you bear down for a BM (try blowing through a closed fist)
- Brace with pillow or hands over lower abs when you cough or sneeze
- No lifting over 10lbs for 6 weeks
- Primarily walk for exercise for the first 6 weeks. Starting just with household distances in the first week post-op.
- Vary your postures during the day
What to expect about erectile function after prostatectomy
- It is normal for erections to initially be impossible/difficult after surgery. They will gradually improve for up to 2 years post-surgery.
- There is some evidence that erectile function is more likely to return if you regularly create erections with the help of medication or vacuum pumps. Talk to your doctor about their experience and options for this.
What to expect about bladder control after prostatectomy
- Urinary leaking is normal following surgery, and improves for most people over the first year post-op. It may not fully resolve, even with time.
- Pelvic floor muscle training can reduce the severity and duration of post-op urinary leaking (incontinence). We recommend starting at least a month before surgery. Read more about pelvic floor muscle training here!
- Doing pelvic floor muscle training after surgery can help you regain continence more quickly, and increase your chances of it going away completely.
- SUMMARY: Do pelvic floor muscle training daily the month before surgery, and then resume 7 days after the urinary catheter is removed.
Bladder habits after prostatectomy
- You may have developed bathroom habits because of your enlarged prostate. Now is the time to build new, normal habits!
- If you feel like you’re not emptying your bladder fully, DON’T push your urine out. Relax, breathe, and let your bladder do the work.
- Leaking after you finish urination (post-void dribbling) is normal with age and after prostate surgery. Pelvic floor muscle training will help with this as well. Do a pelvic floor contraction after you’ve finished urinating to reduce any leaks.
Bladder schedule after prostatectomy
- A “normal” bladder schedule is every 2-4 hours, and 0-1 times at night.
- After the catheter from surgery is removed, we recommend using a timed schedule to empty your bladder regardless of your need to go. If you already feel a normal bladder schedule, you may not need this.