A systematic review of PFE pre-prostatectomy

S. S. Goonewardene*, D. Gillatt, R. Persad

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Male Stress Urinary Incontinence is a complication post robotic radical prostatectomy. This is a major problem that needs to be solved, since it has great impact on quality of life affecting the patient’s physical activity and social well-being. A systematic review relating to literature on impact of preoperative PFE on continence outcomes for patients undergoing prostatectomy was conducted. The search strategy aimed to identify all references related to pelvic floor exercises and post-prostatectomy. Search terms used were as follows: (Pelvic floor exercises) AND (incontinence) AND (prostatectomy). The following databases were screened from 2000 to September 2017: CINAHL, MEDLINE (NHS Evidence), Cochrane, AMed, EMBASE, PsychINFO, SCOPUS, Web of Science. In addition, searches using Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) and keywords were conducted using Cochrane databases. Two UK-based experts in prostate cancer and robotic surgery were consulted to identify any additional studies. In the 6 months following surgery, the continence rates, as defined by the use of one pad or less per day, were 94% (44 of 47) and 96% (48 of 50) in the PFE and biofeedback groups and control groups (PFE alone), respectively (P = 0.596) (Bales et al. in Urology 56: 627–630, 2000). This demonstrates preoperative PFE may improve early continence after RP. Geraerts et al. (Eur Urol 64:766–772, 2013) demonstrated the “incontinence impact” was in favour of a group with PFE at 3 and 6 months after surgery. This demonstrates again the advantage of preoperative PFE. Cornel et al. [World J Urol 23:353–355, 2005] determined the benefit of starting pelvic floor muscle exercise (PFE) 30 days before RP and of continuing PFE postoperatively for early recovery of continence as part of a randomised, prospective study (Moher quality A). This demonstrated preoperative PFE may improve early continence and QoL outcomes after RP. Post-prostatectomy incontinence is a bothersome complication of radical prostatectomy [Chughtai et al. in Rev Urol 15:61–66, 2013]. Weak pelvic floor muscles compromised normal pelvic floor function and led to urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles was shown to significantly improve post-prostatectomy urinary continence, post-micturition dribble and erectile function. It would be prudent for all men to exercise their pelvic floor muscles to maintain normal pelvic floor function and start prior to surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397–400
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Robotic Surgery
Issue number3
Early online date21 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018


  • Outcomes
  • Pelvic floor exercises
  • Preoperative
  • Robotic radical prostatectomy


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