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Pre- & Post-Prostatectomy Tips

January 06, 2023

Pre- & Post-Prostatectomy Tips

Prostate cancer is the 2nd most common form of cancer in men (behind skin cancer, for those who are curious). One of the most common treatments is prostatectomy, which is the removal of part or all of the prostate gland. It is a common procedure, with hundreds of thousands of these surgeries occurring each year in the US.

There are a number of best practices for both preparing ahead of time and optimizing recovery after the surgery. This article is going to look at some best practices (in particular, Kegel exercise – which is recommended by urologists both before and after prostatectomy). Let’s start on the front side with preparations.


Pre-prostatectomy preparation tips

Your doctor will give you a full run-down of how to prepare, but if you are curious about what to expect, there are both short- and long-term considerations. First, some longer term concerns:

Prostatectomy surgeon

As you approach the day of the surgery, late-stage considerations may include:


Post-prostatectomy tips

The recovery trajectory for prostatectomy can vary considerably depending on your procedure – for instance, whether you had open vs. minimally invasive / laparoscopic surgery, or whether you had radical prostatectomy (full removal of the prostate) vs. simple prostatectomy (partial removal). With that said, there are still a few recommendations that pretty much always hold. The surgery usually involves an overnight stay at the hospital but often you’ll be able to return home the next day (generally with a catheter still in place, which often remains for 7-10 days).

Once you get home, there are a number of things to keep in mind that can help keep you moving along the road to recovery at top speed:

Lots of fiber, fruit and vegetables can help with prostatectomy recovery


Pelvic floor exercise (Kegels)

You may have noticed that pelvic floor, or Kegel, exercise was the one thing that came up as both part of pre-prostatectomy preparation and post-prostatectomy recovery.

If you haven’t already, you’ll almost certainly hear about them from your urologist as part of the prostatectomy process. There’s a whole article about Kegels for men that you can check out here if you want more details. Long story short, though, pelvic floor muscle strengthening is well-established to have beneficial effects for both urinary incontinence and sexual function after prostatectomy.

But one of the things that sometimes gets lost about Kegels is that, like any other type of exercise, they can only help if you actually do them consistently. And that is particularly challenging for Kegels because the pelvic floor is essentially invisible, and because doing Kegels is actually quite boring. That’s why a Kegel trainer for men, like the kGoal Boost, can help: it provides biofeedback (to help you know whether you’re doing the exercises correctly), exercise history data (to quantify and track your progress) and guided workouts / games (to help you get a balanced workout that isn’t boring). And, in contrast to many of the other options, Boost does not use a rectal/anal probe to measure your pelvic floor muscle activity – you just place it on a chair and sit on top like a bicycle seat, with clothes left on. Easy!

Boost men’s sit-on-top Kegel trainer.

The Bottom Line

Prostatectomy is a common procedure and outcomes are generally quite good, especially as more and more surgeries move from open to minimally invasive. But there is still room for the actions taken by the patient to have a significant impact on how smoothly the recovery period goes. Talk to your doctor, be patient and do your best to stay on top of the right exercise, diet and activity regimens after surgery (including Kegels) and you’ll be putting yourself on the road to an optimal recovery.

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