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Thread: Your experience with bladder control

  1. #1

    Your experience with bladder control

    What is your experience with bladder control? Here is mine. I had DaVinci robotic surgery on May 3, 2006. By the middle of June I was getting very frustrated by waking up with a soggy depends and using 2-3 pads daily. I decided to try a different approach. I started drinking 1/2 gallon water daily and laid off coffee, soft drinks, etc. By the second evening I began to get the urge to urinate 2-3 times that night and I would get up and urinate. The good news is that my Depends was virtually dry in the morning. This has been the pattern since. I am almost dry to completely dry in the morning. I am also beginning to see a lot of improvement during the day.
    Anyone else have any experiences in fighting bladder control? How long did it take for you to regain complete bladder control?

  2. #2
    Regular User
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    My radical prostectamy was in october of last year. I was told that it would take one year to regain complete control and while frustrated at times am moving along OK. I now use one ultrathin liner for about 3 days. At night I use nothing but occassionally wished I had...usually when extremly tired or laying on my right side for some reason. I will be dissapointed if after a year I am not able to ditch the ultrathins.

  3. #3
    chapmad1
    I had the robotic surgery 2-weeks ago and the catheter out 1-week ago.
    No problems at all at night - I get up 2-3 times but I'm always dry.
    If I'm doing something during the day then I frequently leak. If I just hang out and watch TV then it's not so bad.

    What's been your experience with leakage?

  4. #4
    Regular User
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    leaking is still somewhat of an issue. At times at night not eniugh to do much more than wet the pajamas a little. I don't wear pad at night. I suspect that leaking is caused by bladder being full. During the day leaking is mild but most of the time problem is very small squirt if you know what i mean? At times it might happen when straining at some job but others ,for example, may be washing my hands just AFTER peeing. Like the old trick we used to play on friends when sticking there hands in water when asleep. I did have a physical therapist tell me recently that we should be doing 500 keagle exercises a day which is a lot more than I think any of ius tend to do after we are doing pretty good and months away from the operstion. I am trying to do a hundred at a time now when I can and see if that helps.

  5. #5
    I'm about 3-weeks now after DaVinci prostate removal.
    I always wear a depends guard even though at night there is little to no leakage problem.
    A lot of leakage if I'm active such as playing golf or dancing. The good news is that I can do these things and the depends guards work well.
    I continue to do the kegel exercises many times a day but can't say that I've seen any improvement yet - but still hopeful it will come with more time.

  6. #6
    Experienced User
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    Hi, my name is Charlie and I am 50 years old and I pee may pants. That is what I tell people now when they ask me about my prostate surgery.

    I had my prostate out by robotic surgery on 9/25 and my catheter out 10/5 and I continue to pee my pants when ever I stand up, and you know what?,,,, I don't really care anymore. I was depressed the first weeks because I thought I would be one of those guys that would be dry quickly because I was in good physical condition since I have been lifting weights since I was 18. Also I did my kegels as recommended starting 3 months before surgery doing 4 sets of 15 a day and continued doing them after surgery. I also did my reserach and I picked a skilled surgeon who had done 1000+ surgeries. Alway I have been an active person and I just could not accept being incontinente, but now, I don't really care anymore and I don't let it get to me. Having pads is just part of my life now and you have to learn to live with it.

    At present, I have seen no results in my continence as a result of all the kegels I have doing, so now, I just stopped doing them.

    Currently I am 10 weeks post catheter, and I have no continence what so ever when walking, standing, laughing, lifting, or doing any type of work. The urine just leaks out of me as fast as I drink it in. When sitting or sleeping, I stay pretty dry unless I move in a certain way or do some lifting, then I will drip, but in general, when I sit, I am dry. Thank god for that since I have a desk job.

    On a normal day I will go through 4-5 pads. On a day I drink alot of fluid and I am on my feet working around my house or out shopping with my wife, I can go through 7 - 8 or more pads.

    Is it frustrating? Sure it is, but I live with it since it is better than the alternative which is CANCER.

    From what I have been reading, it seems that it is the luck of the draw to who is dry after surgery and who is wet. I talked with people who do no kegels at all, and they are dry after a few weeks. Then there are people like me who are in great physical shape and kegel to death and see no improvement. I guess it is all about how well your surgeon did his job.

    _________________
    Biospy 4/2007 - 2/12 <%5 Cancer Gleason 6
    RP 9/25/2007 Uni Rochester, NY
    Gleason 6, Negative Margins
    Biospy 4/2007 - 2/12 <%5 Cancer Gleason 6
    RP 9/25/2007 Uni Rochester, NY
    Gleason 6, Negative Margins

  7. #7
    I'm about 9 months post davinci surgery. I'm doing daily kegels now for about 30-45 minutes per day. While I still wear a pad during the day it's either just stained a little or even completely dry. I can even play a round of golf and be dry where 6 months ago I needed to change the pad a couple of times during 18 holes of golf. So I've seen little-by-little improvement over time and expect to stop wearing a pad at all in a few months.

  8. #8
    Regular User
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    I am not complaining as my problem would be considered a minor inconvenience. However. I have come to the conclusion that some of the statistics we all receive are somewhat inaccurate. Almost everyone and their mother, prior to prostate surgery, is told by their surgeon that they will experience impotency but it can be handled with pills and they will have a 95% chance of not experience incontinence. I would like to see the stats that support the latter. I have a suspicion that many of us who are on the border with minor leakage but are not comfortable to forego a pad are listed in the "no problem with incontinence" side of the equation. The more I talk with men I know that have had prostate surgery the more I am convinced that they do not try that hard to get real accurate results when reporting incontinence.

  9. #9
    I am trying to schedule the robotic surgery for the end of January. How do I go about finding out what my surgeon's stats are for Incontinence and ED. I'm going to ask him straight up but is there any other way to find out? Would any of you be willing to share your research techniques and whether or not you felt that the research was sufficient?

    Charlie
    Courage is Being Scared to Death -- but saddling up anyway.
    John Wayne

    44 diagnosed PC 11/19/07
    PSA 3.9 Gleason 3+3

  10. #10
    Experienced User
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    Badyear ....... If you are considering surgery in the future. I strongly recommend you take a look at this new procedure being formed by Dr. Ashutosh K. Tewari, director of robotic prostatectomy at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell hospital in NYC. With this new procedure for reattaching the ureatha, 65% of the men are fully continente within 4 weeks after surgery and 95% after 16 weeks.

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/70715.php

    I did a lot of reserach prior to my surgery, but I wish I could have done more or had someone tell me more about someone like Dr Tewari and incontinence. I knew incontinence was an issue after this type of surgery, but because I was relatively young, and in excellent pyhsical condition, and had been doing kegels for 4 months prior to my surgery, I had a false set of hopes, and I thought that I wouldn't have any problems with incontinence, or if I did, it would be very minimal at the most. Boy was I wrong.

    I even picked a good surgeon who had a good reputation and had performed well over 1000 of these operations, so I thought I was in good hands, but luck was not on my side.

    I know that it has only been 11 weeks since my surgery and it takes time, but I have not seen one bit of improvement in my incontinence in those 11 weeks, nothing. I use 4-7 pads a day depending how much time I am on my feet and how much I drink. The only good thing that came out of my surgery, other than my cancer being removed, is that I have no ED problems what so ever and I can get a full and hard erection without using drugs. But you know what?,,,,it is completely worthless to me becuase of my incontinence. Because I drip so much, and when I have an orgasm I ejectulate urine, my wife wants nothing to do with me until I stop leaking.

    What I am trying to get across to you is that if you can find someone who can give you a better chance of continence very quickly after surgery like Dr Tewari can, then do everything in your power to take advantage of this and use this surgeon or ask your surgeon if he can do this technique. You don't know what having incontinence is until you actually have it, and it is something you don't want to experience if you don't have too.
    Biospy 4/2007 - 2/12 <%5 Cancer Gleason 6
    RP 9/25/2007 Uni Rochester, NY
    Gleason 6, Negative Margins

  11. #11

    continence

    I used pads for maybe two weeks after a Da Vinci robotic prostatectomy. I had a little stress incontinence (sitting up suddenly, coughing, picking up one of my kids) for a while. That's mostly gone. I have a tiny touch of that now and then with heavy exertion. I tried Kegels off and on for the first few weeks, but not religiously.

    Everyone's different, and age plays a role. I had just turned 44 when I had surgery.

  12. #12
    Chas:

    I've looked into it but can't stand the idea of going to NYC. I live in a little town and while I did grow up in San Francisco proper even the idea of going to a small city that I grew up in is unappealing.

    Replicant:

    Thanks for your comments. I have to little kids that I like to wrastle with so It'll be tough. I turned 44 a few months ago as well.
    Courage is Being Scared to Death -- but saddling up anyway.
    John Wayne

    44 diagnosed PC 11/19/07
    PSA 3.9 Gleason 3+3

  13. #13
    New User
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    Totally discusted

    Hi!
    I'm new to the forum, so I'll give you a little background. I'm a 59 year old delivery driver from Wilmington, DE who had a robotic (DaVinci) radical prostatectomy on March 28, 2007. That first night the surgeon had to change the cathater twice because of blood clots. To change the cathater he scoped me, intoduced a guide wire and then inserted the cathater - all of this while I was awake. The pain was so bad that I broke the railing off of the bed.

    It is now over 9 months later and I still use 10-15 pads a day. Keep in mind that my job involves a lot of lifting all day long. Luckily most nights I'm dry.

    My surgeon is pushing me to let him install a sling. He offered to give me the phone number of one of his sling patients where the surgery "almost worked" (his words, not mine). I wouldn't let this butcher operate on my worst enemy, let alone using him again.

    Needless to say I'm totally disgusted and wish that I had just left the cancer in me.

  14. #14
    Sorry to hear of your experience. Have you tried the kegel exercises?
    PSA 8/2007 3.5
    PSA 9/2007 4.6
    Biospy 10/2007 - 1/8 5% Cancer Gleason 6
    RP 11/28/2007 Mt. Sinai Hospital, NY, NY
    Gleason 6, Negative Margins
    PSA 1/2008 < 0.05

  15. #15
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    Kegel exercises

    I've been doing the exercises for 9 months. I've also been to physical therapy for bio-feedback. It hasn't helped.

    Any suggestions short of surgery?

  16. #16
    In his book, "Dr. Patrick Walsh's Guide to Surviving Prostate Cancer," 2nd Edition, June 2007, he recommends doing kegels when urinating by trying to stop the flow.

    This was new to me. It might be worth a try as an alternative to traditional kegels.

    I'm not a doctor, and you may want to check with your uro on this approach, but maybe its worth considering.
    PSA 8/2007 3.5
    PSA 9/2007 4.6
    Biospy 10/2007 - 1/8 5% Cancer Gleason 6
    RP 11/28/2007 Mt. Sinai Hospital, NY, NY
    Gleason 6, Negative Margins
    PSA 1/2008 < 0.05

  17. #17
    Banned Regular User
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    I must say that, after reading these posts, I have to consider myself blessed.

    My urologist performed my radical prostatectomy "the old-fashioned way" in early June - open abdominal - but sent me home the third day after surgery without a catheter. He did say I had a good "stump" on the bladder with which to reattach the urethra, so that may have had something to do with it as well.

    I used pads or depends regularly for the first few weeks, then gradually reduced & stopped over the next few months. By August, I was not using anything.

    I do kegels for 5 minutes a day (50 quick repetitions, 4 minutes sustained repetitions and another quick 50) on the way to work, no more than that.

    I find that, if I enjoy more than a few beers or other alcoholic drinks, incontinence becomes an unwanted side-effect (especially if I doze off on the couch). I also perform in a band, and if I imbibe during a job, I can experience stress incontinence while lifting the heavy gear...even the lightweight stuff at the end of the night.

    My biggest inconvenience is the fact that, although I can empty my bladder in 10 seconds flat, on average, it sometimes takes another 10 seconds to fully clear the works. I find that if I AVOID using the kegels while I finish emptying the bladder, THEN use a few contractions, the emptying is more complete.

    Does anyone else get the impression that robotic surgery seems to result in more cases of incontinence than abdominal or retropubic?

  18. #18
    New User
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    I had the robotic surgery with Dr. Tewari on January 14th. I had the catheter out on January 22nd.

    Can I see a show of hands...is that not the most disgusting sound anyone has ever heard?

    I've been fairly continent in the 4 days since the removal of the catheter. I used the full-up undergarments for the first 3 days, and they stayed pretty dry. I used 1 per day, though if I had wanted to (I didn't) I could have let them carry across because they were pretty dry.

    Today, I tried a simple pad. I think I rushed it a bit; I felt like I had little leaks at various "stress" times throughout the day. But, to be honest, I did have about 3 cups of coffee when I went out for breakfast with my wife. The other days, no more than one cup of coffee for the day. I don't plan on doing a scientific study, so it's only "anecdotal.'

    I really have to say that Dr. Tewari is worth having to deal with the "Big City." I was up and walking the night of the surgery (Monda), more the next day (Tuesday, plus I was released Tuesday), and ever since, I've been walking between 5-9 miles a day.

    Plus I had the best room at NY Presbyterian hospital! It had the most gorgeous views of NYC! And, all the rooms are private!

  19. #19
    Regular User
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    I am 58. I had my prostate removed the old fashioned way in September.
    After the catheter was removed, I was able to immediatly control my urination from that point on. I sleep through the night without having to get up. I can lift heavy things, cough, and laugh out loud with out leaking.

    I dont know if this outcome is rare or fairly common, but for me that is how it worked out.

    The return of other more important functions has been much more difficult, but I am making slow but positive progress in that area.

  20. #20
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    I too feel really lucky. I had a radical prostatectomy via davinci robot 3 weeks ago on 1/23/08. I have had complete control of my bladder since the day the catheter came out.

    The only time I notice a very very slight problem is if my bladder is full (in other words I've waited too long to go) and I try and pass gas a few drops can slip past so I've just learned to be careful of this. Other than that no problems whatsoever. Again, I too feel very very lucky.

    p.s. I should also mention that after only 3 weeks post surgery I don't have any ED problem at all either. I realize how very lucky I am to dodge both of these major side effects. I have attributed this to the very experienced and skilled surgeon that did the procedure as well as the relatively early stage of the disease in my case.

    -Matt
    Matt Kennedy
    Salem, NH

 
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