Patient decision-making for surgical treatment of post-prostatectomy stress urinary incontinence: a mixed-methods exploratory pilot study

Nathan M. Shaw, Farnoosh Nik-Ahd, Charles Jones, Benjamin N. Breyer, Louise C. Walter, Rebecca Sudore, Matthew R. Cooperberg, Caitlin Baussan, Kathryn Quanstrom, I. Elaine Allen, Lindsay A. Hampson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Male stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is a known complication following surgical intervention on the prostate, particularly following surgery for prostate cancer. Effective surgical treatments for SUI include artificial urinary sphincter (AUS) and male urethral sling. Prior data suggest that men may forego available treatment despite bothersome symptoms. The objective was to explore how men who underwent surgical correction for post-prostatectomy SUI navigated SUI treatment decisions. Methods: Mixed method study was employed. Semi-structured interviews, participant surveys and objective clinical assessment of SUI were performed among a group of men living with incontinence after prostate cancer surgery who underwent surgery for SUI at the University of California in 2017. Results: Eleven men were interviewed after consultation for SUI and all had complete quantitative clinical data. Surgery for SUI included AUS (n=8) and sling (n=3). There was a decrease in pads per day from 3.2 to 0.9 and no major complications. Most patients found that the impact on activities and their treating urologist were of great importance. Sexual and relationships played a variable role with some participants ranking these as "great deal of influence"and others "little or no influence". Participants who underwent AUS were more likely to cite a higher importance on "being very dry"in choosing that surgery while sling patients had more variable ranking of important factors. Participants found a variety of inputs helpful in hearing information about SUI treatment options. Conclusions: Among a group of 11 men who underwent surgical correction for post-prostatectomy SUI, there were identifiable themes on how men make decisions, evaluate quality of life (QoL) changes and approach treatment options. Men value more than being dry with measures of individual success that can include sexual and relationship health. Furthermore the role of the Urologist remains crucial as patients relied heavily on input and discussion with their Urologist to assist in treatment decisions. These findings can be used to inform future studies of the experience of men with SUI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)849-861
Number of pages13
JournalTranslational Andrology and Urology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023


  • Male stress incontinence
  • artificial urinary sphincter (AUS)
  • patient decisions
  • qualitative
  • sling


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