Acupuncture for Frequent Urination following Prostate Surgery

In my last post I wrote about research that shows acupuncture helps reduce hot flashes in men with androgen ablating therapy.   In addition to hot flashes, men can experience frequent urination, incontinence, and sexual dysfunction following prostate cancer surgery.

Here are two articles I wrote focusing on prostate cancer surgery recovery.   The first is a case study published in Medical Acupuncture.


Background: Radical prostatectomy, while a successful treatment for prostate cancer, often results in chronic adverse effects.

Objective: To report the use of acupuncture to treat frequent urination and nocturia following radical prostatectomy.

Design, and Patient: A 62-year-old man reported frequent urination, nocturia, and urinary leakage. He had a history of overactive bladder for about 5 years, originally developed from type 2 diabetes. One year prior to acupuncture treatment, the patient underwent radical laparoscopic prostatectomy for early stage prostate cancer. After the surgery, his frequent urination and nocturia worsened, with the need to urinate every hour both day and night. Occasionally, he experienced urinary leakage, which he managed by wearing a pad. The nocturia caused poor sleep and chronic fatigue, as he awoke 5–7 times every night to urinate.

Intervention: Acupuncture treatment was performed twice per week. Points included a front treatment of CV 3, CV 4, and KI 12 with pole moxa, and LR 5, SP 6. Back treatment was GV 4, GV 3, GV 2, UB 23, UB 32, and UB 33 with pole moxa, as well as UB 57.

Main Outcome Measure: Change in urinary frequency and nocturia.

Results: After 10 treatments, there was a great reduction in frequency of urination during both the day and night. In addition, this patient’s ability to hold his bladder was also reported to have increased. He was awaking to urinate 0–2 times per night, a major reduction in nocturia.

Conclusions: Traditional acupuncture was successful in helping this patient with frequent urination. This theory, background, and treatment can help stimulate more research into the treatment of frequent urination and nocturia following prostatectomy.

The second  article is entitled “Acupuncture Treatment of Incontinence following Prostate Cancer Surgery explaining more of the Traditional Chinese Medicine view of acupuncture, incontinence, and frequent urination.

Joseph Alban, L.Ac.
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