GROW Active Recovery Program Overview
Maintenance and recovery of sexual and urinary function following pelvic surgery requires a planned, purpose-driven effort. While there is no guarantee regarding these outcomes due to the complexity of factors that can be involved, the GROW Active Recovery Program was carefully designed to equip you with personalized tools and strategies to achieve the best chance of sexual and urinary function after surgery.
The GROW Active Recovery Program was created with you in mind using the latest clinical insights, research, and technologies with specific aims meant to Guard, Restore, Overcome, and maintain Wellness during various aspects of the recovery journey. A summary of each step is provided below with more detailed handouts on each step to follow.
Step 1: Guard – Our number one focus is to protect the level of sexual and urinary function that a man has before surgery. In order to maintain this, the effort needs to start BEFORE surgery and continue throughout the recovery journey. A special combination of oral medications and daily penile exercise using a vacuum device is designed to preserve the health and size of the penile tissue while pelvic nerves recover from surgery. Education is also provided for pelvic floor exercises to help improve the likelihood of early return of urinary control.
Step 2: Restore – We realize the eagerness that many men have in returning to their sexual and urinary function before surgery. However, this journey to recovery takes time. In fact, the recovery of the pelvic nerves that control erections may take several months.
Therefore, we want to assist in the process to regaining quality of life as quickly as possible. We provide methods and strategies to assist in performance while the natural function recovers. Options progress from oral medications to penile injection therapies to the use of the vacuum erection device with the addition of a constriction band for sexual performance rather than just penile exercise.
Step 3: Overcome – We want you to be triumphant in your journey to recovery from the side effects that come along with your cancer treatment. Beginning three months after surgery, you’ll have regular follow-up with pelvic cancer survivorship team to evaluate your progress. A customized treatment plan is created, and your improvement is tracked over time. With the strategies listed above, many men will regain full sexual and urinary function. However, for those men who still need or desire further improvement, we offer several outpatient procedures to revitalize men’s sexual and urinary function.
Step 4: Wellness – Physical recovery following surgery for pelvic cancer is important. However, we also believe
in also focusing on treating your whole being including your mind and your spirit. Through the Brown Cancer Center, we also offer a multitude of different free services and activities that are extremely valuable in this restoration process.
Hear from UofL Health providers about the G.R.O.W. Program offered at UofL Health - Brown Cancer Center.