Incontinence After Surgery for BPH

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Urinary incontinence after surgery for BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) is a common side effect. Bladder dysfunction may be the sole cause of urinary incontinence in about one-quarter of men who undergo surgery for BPH, according to the results of a recent study conducted at the University of Sao Paulo Medical School. The researchers also found that older patients have greater rates of bladder dysfunction, and that men older than 70 may be considered to be at high risk for this complication.

The investigators set out to identify the causes of urinary incontinence in men who had undergone surgery for BPH and to determine the influence of age on the prevalence of bladder dysfunction. Participants included 125 men who had urinary incontinence following transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP; 81 patients) or open prostatectomy  (44 patients).  An additional group of 21 men with incontinence after radical prostatectomy was used for comparison.

Urinary stress incontinence was the main cause of urinary incontinence among the 125 men. Among the 25 percent of men for whom bladder dysfunction was the isolated cause of urinary incontinence, urinary stress incontinence was a coexisting factor in 30 percent of cases.

Overall, the authors found that the chances of having bladder dysfunction increased 5.3 percent for each year of age and that men older than 70 had twice the chance of developing bladder dysfunction, regardless of which types of surgery they had undergone.


Bruschini H et al. Urinary incontinence following surgery for BPH: the role of aging on the incidence of bladder dysfunction. Int Braz J Urol 2011 May-Jun; 37(3): 380-87


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