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Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is a surgery to remove part of the prostate gland.
The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system. It makes and stores a milky fluid that forms part of semen. The prostate is below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It also wraps around a tube called the urethra. The urethra allows urine to flow out of the body.
A TURP is done to relieve blockage of urine flow from the prostate. It is done to improve the flow of urine. When a man has an enlarged, noncancerous prostate, this is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). In BPH, the prostate grows and presses against the urethra and bladder. The pressure can cause problems with the normal flow of urine.
A TURP may also be done when a man has prostate cancer. It may be done if the doctor thinks that a complete prostate removal surgery is too risky. In this case, TURP is also done to relieve urine blockage and lessen symptoms. It is not done to treat the cancer itself.
Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
Your doctor may do the following:
Leading up to your procedure:
A special scope that looks like a thin tube with a light on the end will be used. The scope will be passed through the hole at the tip of the penis where urine comes out and passes into the bladder. The bladder will then be filled with a solution. The solution will let the doctor see the inside of your body better.
The prostate gland is examined through the scope. A small surgical tool will be inserted through the scope. This tool will be used to remove a part of the enlarged prostate.
A catheter will be placed in the bladder. Urine will flow out the catheter to give the area time to heal. Your catheter may also be used to flush the bladder and to remove blood clots.
Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. Pain and discomfort after the procedure can be managed with medications.
An overnight stay is typically planned for a TURP. In some cases, the stay can be up to 2 days.
You will be taken to the recovery room where your breathing, pulse, and heart rate will be monitored. You will be given pain medication.
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to reduce your chance of infection, such as:
There are also steps you can take to reduce your chance of infection, such as:
It is important for you to monitor your recovery after you leave the hospital. Alert your doctor to any problems right away. If any of the following occur, call your doctor:
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
American Cancer Society
National Cancer Institute
Men's Health Centre
The Prostate Centre at The Princess Margaret
BPH: Medical management (benign prostatic hyperplasia/enlarged prostate. Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=1. Accessed August 31, 2015.
Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116944/Benign-prostatic-hyperplasia-BPH. Updated July 28, 2016. Accessed October 10, 2016.
Leocádio DE, Frenkl TL, Stein BS. Office based transurethral needle ablation of the prostate with analgesia and local anesthesia. J Urol. 2007 Nov;178(5):2052-4; discussion 2054.
Lynch M, Anson K. Time to rebrand transurethral resection of the prostate? Curr Opin Urol. 2006;16:20-4.
Michielsen DP, Debacker T, De Boe V, Van Lersberghe C, Kaufman L, Braeckman JG, et al. Bipolar transurethral resection in saline—an alternative surgical treatment for bladder outlet obstruction? J Urol. 2007 Nov;178(5):2035-9; discussion 2039.
Nakagawa T, Toguri AG. Early catheter removal following transurethral prostatectomy: a study of 431 patients. Med Princ Pract. 2006;15(2):126-30.
Prostate enlargement: Benign prostatic hyperplasia. National Kidney Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/prostateenlargement. Updated September 24, 2014. Accessed August 31, 2015.
Tan A, Liao C, Mo Z, Cao Y. Meta-analysis of holmium laser enucleation versus transurethral resection of the prostate for symptomatic prostatic obstruction. Br J Surg. 2007 Oct;94(10):1201-8.
Wendt-Nordahl G, Bucher B, Hacker A, Knoll T, Alken P, Michel MS. Improvement in mortality and morbidity in transurethral resection of the prostate over 17 years in a single center. J Endourol. 2007 Sep;21(9):1081-7.
Last reviewed September 2016 by Adrienne Carmack, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.