Pelvic floor muscle training in radical prostatectomy: A randomized controlled trial of the impacts on pelvic floor muscle function and urinary incontinence

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Abstract

Background: Pelvic floor muscle training (PFM) training for post-prostatectomy incontinence (PPI) is an important rehabilitative approach, but the evidence base is still evolving. We developed a novel PFM training program focussed on activating fast and slow twitch muscle fibres. We hypothesized that this training, which commenced pre-operatively, would improve PFM function and reduce PPI, when compared to a control group. Methods: This randomized trial allocated 97 men (63 ± 7y, BMI = 25.4, Gleason 7) undergoing radical prostatectomy (RP) to either a control group (n = 47) performing low-volume rehabilitation, or an intervention group (n = 50). Both interventions commenced 5 weeks prior to surgery and continued for 12 weeks post-RP. Participants were assessed pre-operatively and at 2, 6 and 12 weeks post-RP using 24 h pad weights, International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite for Clinical Practice (EPIC-CP) and real time ultrasound (RTUS) measurements of PFM function. Results: Following RP, participants in the control group demonstrated a slower return to continence and experienced significantly more leakage (p < 0.05), measured by 24 h pad weight, compared to the intervention group, suggesting an impact of the prehabilitation protocol. PFM function measures were enhanced following RP in the intervention group. Secondary measures (IPSS, EPIC-CP and RTUS PFM function tests) demonstrated improvement across all time points, with the intervention group displaying consistently lower "bothersome" scores. Conclusions: A pelvic floor muscle exercise program commenced prior to prostate surgery enhanced post-surgical measures of pelvic floor muscle function, reduced PPI and improved QoL outcomes related to incontinence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116
JournalBMC Urology
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2019

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