The National Institute of Health Research recently weighed the benefits of using Kegels, pelvic floor toning exercises, in one-on-one physical therapy sessions. Their findings indicate that there is no substantial benefit to the individualized training, nor is it cost-effective. It’s interesting to me that the study seems to be less about the effectiveness of pelvic floor toning exercises, and more about the time (and therefore expense) of one-on-one care after prostate cancer surgery.
First, I’d like to remind patients that the level of sexual and urinary function issues they may face post-radical prostatectomy are directly linked to the skill level of the surgeon they select. While da Vinci System technology does provide tremendous benefits in visual magnification and dissection precision during surgery, it’s no replacement for time and experience. My SMART (Samadi Modified Advanced Robotic Technique) method links technology and skill, truly resulting in smart surgery. My patients are experiencing exceptional results with regard to sexual and urinary function. Ninety-six percent regain urinary continence and 87 percent regain sexual function in 12-24 months following surgery.
Second, there are instances when men need some additional support following surgery, whether to deal with sexual issues or mild stress urinary incontinence. With regard to restoring urinary continence I may employ the use of pelvic floor toning. Performing Kegels is as simple as identifying your pelvic floor muscles (those you use to stop the flow of urine), contracting them for a few seconds at a time, and repeating about ten times. Done a few times each day, these exercises can help. They’ve even been known to help sexual function.
More importantly, though, my treatment of a patient does not end with surgery. Patients become a part of my family, and I continue to work with and care for them for as long as they need me. I will do so one-on-one, whether it be cost-effective or not, because it’s what is right for the complete recovery of my patients.