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Potential Effectiveness of Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation Treatment for Postradical Prostatectomy Incontinence, Climacturia, and Erectile Dysfunction: A Case Series

Authors


Maria Chiara Sighinolfi, MD, Department of Urology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, via del pozzo 71 Modena, 41100, Italy. Tel: +39 059 4224778; Fax: +39 059 4224778; E-mail: sighinolfic@yahoo.com

ABSTRACT

Introduction.  Radical prostatectomy is the treatment of choice for prostate cancer; although novel techniques have significantly reduced its side effects, the procedure can provoke urinary incontinence of various degrees and/or erectile dysfunction.

Aim.  We evaluate the effect of a complete pelvic floor rehabilitation program on both incontinence and erectile dysfunction, including climacturia, in a preliminary case series.

Main Outcomes Measures.  Pad usage and International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-15) Questionnaire.

Methods.  Three male patients, previously submitted to nerve and bladder neck sparing radical prostatectomy, presented with urinary incontinence, climacturia and erectile dysfunction of new onset. We decided to manage those subjects with a pelvic-floor rehabilitation program consisting of active pelvic-floor muscle exercises, electromyography biofeedback for strength and endurance, electrical stimulation. The whole program lasted 4 months, with weekly sessions, including general advices on lifestyle changes. Pad usage for incontinence and IIEF-15 were used to assess symptoms before and after the procedure.

Results.  Before a complete rehabilitation program, pad usage was 1 per day in all the subjects, and the score for erectile function was set at 17 (range 15–20). After the procedure, all the patients experienced a satisfying urinary continence and an improvement in erectile function (mean IIEF score: 22, range 19–24). Similarly, climacturia seems to be subjectively reduced in all the subjects.

Conclusion.  Pelvic floor muscles exercises seem to result in an improved urinary continence and erectile function after radical prostatectomy. Since this is the first clinical case series dealing with this topic, our outcomes are encouraging and suggest the potential usefulness of such noninvasive treatment modality. Sighinolfi MC, Rivalta M, Mofferdin A, Micali S, De Stefani S, and Bianchi G. Potential effectiveness of pelvic floor rehabilitation treatment for post radical prostatectomy incontinence, climacturia and erectile dysfunction: A case series. J Sex Med 2009;6:3496–3499.

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