An evidence-based strategy for the conservative management of the male patient with incontinence


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Abstract

Purpose of reviewIncontinence is not an isolated symptom in men, but rather a component of a multifactorial problem that may include other lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). Male urinary incontinence is often seen following prostate surgery and procedures, particularly prostate cancer surgery. Men with enlarged prostates experience overactive bladder symptoms of urgency and frequency. Despite these bothersome lower urinary tract problems in men, conservative treatment remains poorly investigated. This review will provide the current evidence-based strategies for the use of conservative management in men with urinary incontinence and other LUTS.Recent findingsConservative treatment for urinary incontinence is an effective intervention and has been recommended by the evidence-based guidelines as the first-line intervention for LUTS. Despite this prevalence, the only population of men who continue to receive systematic consideration with respect to conservative management are those with postprostatectomy urinary symptoms. Although continence status gradually improves in the ensuing weeks and months, evidence-based research has shown that preoperative and early postoperative pelvic floor muscle training can speed the recovery of continence in the short and long term. Recent research has also shown that behavioral therapy combined with medication can improve the male symptom of nocturia. Lifestyle changes of weight loss in obese men with diabetes and LUTS and dietary modification has also been shown to be effective.SummaryAlthough sparse, there are data to support conservative interventions as the first-line treatment in men with LUTS. There is a strong recommendation for implementing a pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) program before and after prostatectomy. Positive lifestyle changes such as weight loss in obese men and dietary modification can lessen urgency, nocturia, and incontinence. Despite this growing evidence on effectiveness, urologists rarely recommend conservative treatment to patients.

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