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Front. Oncol. | doi: 10.3389/fonc.2018.00020

Effects of Biofeedback in Preventing Urinary Incontinence and Erectile Dysfunction After Radical Prostatectomy

  • 1Deparment of Medicine, University of Brasília, Brazil
  • 2Electronics Engineering, University of Brasília, Brazil
  • 3Electrical Engineering, University of Brasília, Brazil
  • 4University of Brasília, Brazil
  • 5Department of Physiotherapy, Alfredo Nasser College, Brazil

In this study, we present a biofeedback method for the strengthening of perineal muscles during the preoperative procedures for radical prostatectomy, and we evaluate this technique as a prevention measure against complications such as urinary incontinence (UI) and erectile dysfunction (ED), which affect prostatectomy patients after surgery. In the experimental protocol, the patients performed specific exercises with the help of a device that provided the patient with visual biofeedback, based on a plot of the anal pressure. For the experimental protocol, we selected 20 male patients, with an average age of 64.0 years, and submitted them to ten therapeutic sessions each. A control group consisting of 32 men with an average age of 66.3 years, who were treated with the same surgical procedure but not with the preoperative procedures, also took part in the experiment. To evaluate UI and ED after the surgery in both control and experimental groups, we used two validated questionnaires – to assess UI we used the King's Health Questionnaire (KHQ), and for ED we used the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5) Questionnaire. We compared the variables associated with UI and ED after the surgery for the control and experimental groups. The occurrence of UI after radical prostatectomy in the control group (100\% of the patients) was higher than for the experimental group (5\% of the patients), with p<0.0001. Likewise, the occurrence of erectile dysfunction after prostatectomy in the control group (48.6\% of the patients) was higher than for the experimental group (5\% of the patients), with p<0.0001. The number of nocturia events also decreased as a consequence of the intervention (p<0.0001), as did the number of disposable underwear units for urinary incontinence (p<0.0001). Furthermore, we compared, only for the experimental group, the anal pressure before the biofeedback intervention and after the surgery, and we verified that the anal pressure after surgery was significantly higher (p<0.0001). The results strongly suggest that the preoperative biofeedback procedure was effective in decreasing urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction after radical prostatectomy. As future work, we intend to extend this analysis for larger samples and considering a broader age range.

Keywords: Radical Prostatectomy, Erectile Dysfunction, Urinary Incontinence, biofeedback interventions, Preoperative Care

Received: 11 Sep 2017; Accepted: 19 Jan 2018.

Edited by:

Fabio Grizzi, Humanitas Research Hospital, Italy

Reviewed by:

Jianbo Li, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, United States
Hiroaki Matsumoto, Yamaguchi University, Japan  

Copyright: © 2018 Perez, Miosso, da Rocha, Tenorio Peixoto and Rosa. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: PhD. Cristiano J. Miosso, University of Brasília, Electronics Engineering, Brasília, Brazil, miosso@ieee.org