Incontinence after prostatectomy for benign or malignant disease is a well known and often a feared outcome. Although small degrees of incidental incontinence may go virtually unnoticed, larger degrees of incontinence can have a major impact on a man's quality of life.
Conceptually, postprostatectomy incontinence may be caused by sphincter malfunction and/or bladder dysfunction. The majority of men with post-prostatectomy incontinence (60 to 100%) have stress urinary incontinence, which is the complaint of involuntary urinary leakage on effort or exertion, or on sneezing or coughing. This may be due to intrinsic sphincter deficiency and may be treated with surgery for optimal management of incontinence. Detrusor dysfunction is more common after surgery for benign prostatic disease.