Pelvic Strength helps determine when Continence Returns afte
Assessment of pelvic floor strength before radical prostatectomy may allow for more accurate prediction of early return of continence after surgery, new research indicates.

Urinary incontinence is a common short-term complication of radical prostatectomy (RP). While continence is eventually achieved in most patients, predicting when patients will become continent is challenging.

Researchers studied 144 men who underwent RP and underwent assessment of pelvic floor strength by a trained physical therapist prior to surgery. As part of the assessment, the men were given a home exercise program to improve their pelvic-floor muscle strength. All of the men completed three-month patient-reported quality of life evaluation.

--Three months after RP, 90 of the men were continent. On multivariate analysis, preoperative pelvic-floor endurance was significantly associated with being continent at three months.

--Nearly three-quarters of men with good pelvic-floor endurance were continent, compared with 50% of men with poor endurance.

--Higher prostate volume was associated with slightly lower rates of continence at three months on multivariable analysis.

"Our study suggests that preoperative assessment by a trained pelvic floor physical therapist (PFPT) with electromyography (EMG) pelvic floor muscle measurements can aid in patient counseling regarding the timing of the return of continence after RP," they write.