Every year around this time it’s common to see men growing moustashes to raise awareness for men’s health issues during November or ‘Movember’. The Movember Foundation runs year round but in November there is a big push to increase awareness and raise money. Team ‘Movember’ ran in the TCS NYC Marathon which took place last weekend. The Movember Foundation has been spotlighted in Showtime, Nestle and GoDaddy ads nationwide this month.
One main issue Movember increases awareness about is prostate cancer which affects one in seven men during their lifetime. It’s the second most common type of cancer diagnosed in men. A common treatment option for prostate cancer and other prostate dysfunctions is surgery.
Prehab, short for prehabilitation, is a proactive way to get your body in optimal shape before a surgery. Not only can it reduce risk of post surgery side effects or injury, but can make one’s recovery process much faster and far less uncomfortable. This approach focuses on building strength and stability in the muscles that can be affected during your surgery.
A prostatectomy is a surgical procedure to remove all or a portion of the prostate gland. This procedure is typically performed on patients with prostate cancer, but is also performed on men who have BPH, a benign condition known as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. These patients may opt for the surgery when bladder dysfunction occurs. The most common procedures for prostate removal include: Radical Prostatectomy, Laparoscopic surgery, Laser Surgery, and the TURP: a Transurethral Resection of the Prostate.
Side effects may occur with any surgery, but unfortunately, the most common side effects after prostate surgery affect bladder and sexual function. This can occur if the pelvic floor muscles become impaired or weak. Your pelvic floor muscles help to support the bladder and the bowel and are involved in sexual function.
Possible side effects after surgery:
· Urinary incontinence, dribbling, or leakage
· Difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection
· Orgasm without fluid, known as a “dry orgasm”
· Reduction in penis length
How Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy can help!
With Prehab, your physical therapist can help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. These are muscles that when weak, atrophied, or impaired, can affect bladder, bowel, or sexual function. Together, you can increase strength prior to surgery so that they are in optimal shape. After surgery, you can continue to strengthen any impaired muscles should side effects or dysfunction occur. A pelvic floor evaluation by a trained physical therapist is recommended for all post-op patients.
Two Quick Tips:
1. To strengthen those pelvic floor muscles, kegels, or contractions of these muscles, will build strength just as biceps curls help to build bigger bicep muscles. Your physical therapist can make sure you are performing these contractions properly and then create a daily kegel regimen so that your pelvic floor becomes as strong as possible going into surgery.
2. Strengthening one’s core, particularly the Transverse Abdominal Muscles, are crucial in building a support system to helps stabilize and support the pelvic floor. Your physical therapist can show you several exercises and make sure you’re engaging your transverse abdominal muscles properly.
1. Radical Prostatectomy. Radical Prostatectomy | Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library. http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/test_procedures/urology/radical_prostatectomy_92,p09111/. Accessed June 27, 2017.
2. Frequently Asked Questions About Pelvic Floor Disorders. The University of Chicago Medicine. http://www.uchospitals.edu/specialties/pelvic/faq/pelvic-floor-disorders.html#P14_511. Accessed June 27, 2017.
3. Key Statistics for Prostate Cancer. American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/about/key-statistics.html. Accessed November 10, 2017.