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Eur Urol. 2010 Jun;57(6):1039-43. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2010.02.028. Epub 2010 Mar 1.

Preoperative pelvic floor muscle exercise for early continence after radical prostatectomy: a randomised controlled study.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Vita-Salute University, San Raffaele Turro Hospital, Milan, Italy.



Despite improvements in surgical techniques, urinary incontinence (UI) is not uncommon after radical prostatectomy (RP), and it may dramatically worsen quality of life (QoL).


To determine the benefit of starting pelvic floor muscle exercise (PFME) 30d before RP and of continuing PFME postoperatively for early recovery of continence.


A randomised, prospective study was designed. Men with localised prostate cancer (PCa) who underwent an open radical retropubic prostatectomy (RRP) at our department of urology were included.


Patients were randomised to start PFME preoperatively and continue postoperatively (active group: A) or to start PFME postoperatively alone (control group: B).


The primary outcome measure was self-reported continence after surgery. Secondary outcome measures were assessed by degree of UI based on a 24-h pad test and QoL instruments (International Continence Society [ICS] male short form [SF]).


Of 143 men evaluated for the study, 118 were randomised either to start PFME preoperatively and continue postoperatively (group A; n=59) or to start postoperative PFME (group B; n=59). After 1 mo, 44.1% (26 of 59) of patients were continent in group A, while 20.3% (12 of 59) were continent in group B (p=0.018). At 3 mo, 59.3% (35 of 59) and 37.3% (22 of 59) patients were continent in group A and group B, respectively (p=0.028). The ICS male SF mean score showed better results in group A than in group B patients at both 1 mo (14.6 vs 18.3) and 3 mo (8.1 vs 12.2) after RP (p=0.002). In age-adjusted logistic regression analyses, patients who performed preoperative PFME had a 0.41-fold lower risk of being incontinent 1 mo after RP and a 0.38-fold lower risk of being incontinent 3 mo after RP (p≤0.001).


Preoperative PFME may improve early continence and QoL outcomes after RP. Further studies are needed to corroborate our results.

Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier B.V.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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