During transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), an instrument is inserted up the urethra to remove the section of the prostate that is blocking urine flow.
The hospital stay after TURP is commonly 1 to 2 days.
Following surgery, a catheter is used to remove urine and blood or blood clots in the bladder that may result from the procedure. When the urine is free of significant bleeding or blood clots, the catheter can be removed and you can go home.
Strenuous activity, constipation, and sexual activity should be avoided for about 4 to 6 weeks. Symptoms such as frequent urination will continue for a while because of irritation and inflammation caused by the surgery. But they should ease during the first 6 weeks.
Your doctor may recommend TURP if symptoms caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) have not improved in response to home treatment and medicines.
For men who have moderate to severe symptoms of prostate enlargement, TURP is more effective than watchful waiting in relieving urinary symptoms. Studies have found that:
Men experience about an 85% improvement in their American Urological Association (AUA) symptom index scores.2 For example, if you had a score of 25, after this surgery it might be at about 4. Men who are very bothered by their symptoms are most likely to notice great improvement in their symptoms after TURP. Men who are not very bothered by their symptoms are less likely to notice a big change.
The risks of transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) include problems with sexual performance, incontinence, and problems from surgery.
TUR syndrome doesn't happen when TURP is done using a bipolar tool (resectoscope) compared to a monopolar resectoscope. You may want to ask your doctor which kind of tool he or she uses.
Surgery usually is not required to treat BPH, although some men may choose it because their symptoms bother them so much. Choosing surgery depends mostly on your preferences and comfort with the idea of having surgery. Things to think about include your expectation of the results of the surgery, the severity of your symptoms, and the possibility of having complications from the surgery.
Men who have severe symptoms often have great improvement in quality of life following surgery. Men whose symptoms are mild may find that surgery does not greatly improve quality of life. Men with only mild symptoms may want to think carefully before deciding to have surgery to treat BPH.
- McNicholas T, Kirby R (2011). Benign prostatic hyperplasia, search date July 2009. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.
- Fitzpatrick JM (2012). Minimally invasive and endoscopic management of benign prostatic hyperplasia. In AJ Wein et al., eds., Campbell-Walsh Urology, 10th ed., vol. 3, pp. 2655–2694. Philadelphia: Saunders.
- AUA Practice Guidelines Committee (2010). AUA guideline on management of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Chapter 1: Guideline on the management of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Available online: http://www.auanet.org/content/guidelines-and-quality-care/clinical-guidelines.cfm?sub=bph.
- Wilt TJ, N'Dow J (2008). Benign prostatic hyperplasia. Part 2—Management. BMJ, 336(7637): 206–210.
Last Revised: March 5, 2012
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