Learn about this procedure used to treat urinary problems caused by an enlarged prostate gland.
Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is a surgery used to treat urinary problems that are caused by an enlarged prostate.
An instrument called a resectoscope is inserted through the tip of your penis and into the tube that carries urine from your bladder (urethra). The resectoscope helps your doctor see and trim away excess prostate tissue that's blocking urine flow.
TURP is generally considered an option for men who have moderate to severe urinary problems that haven't responded to medication. While TURP has been considered the most effective treatment for an enlarged prostate, a number of other, minimally invasive procedures are becoming more effective. These procedures generally cause fewer complications and have a quicker recovery period than TURP.
As men age, the prostate gland can grow larger, a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This can lead to uncomfortable urinary symptoms, such as blocking the flow of urine out of the bladder. Bladder, urinary tract or kidney problems also can result from BPH.
TURP helps reduce urinary symptoms caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), including:
TURP might also be done to treat or prevent complications due to blocked urine flow, such as:
Risks of TURP can include:
Several days before surgery, your doctor might recommend that you stop taking medications that increase your risk of bleeding, including:
Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to prevent urinary tract infection.
Arrange transportation because you won't be able to drive yourself home after the procedure that day or generally if you have a catheter in your bladder.
You might not be able to work or do strenuous activity for up to six weeks after surgery. Ask your doctor how much recovery time you might need.
The TURP procedure takes about 60 to 90 minutes to perform. Before surgery you'll be given either general anesthesia — which means you'll be unconscious during the procedure — or spinal anesthesia, which means you'll remain conscious. You might also be given a dose of antibiotics to prevent infection.
The resectoscope is inserted into the tip of your penis and extended through your urethra and into the prostate area. Your doctor won't need to make any cuts (incisions) on the outside of your body.
Your doctor will use the resectoscope to trim tissue from the inside of your prostate gland, one small piece at a time. As small pieces of tissue are cut from inside your prostate, irrigating fluid carries them into your bladder. They're removed at the end of the operation.
You'll likely stay in the hospital for one to two days.
You'll have a urinary catheter in place because of swelling that blocks urine flow. The catheter is generally left in place for at least 24 to 48 hours, until swelling decreases and you're able to urinate on your own.
You might also notice:
Your doctor is likely to recommend that you:
Contact your doctor if you:
In transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), a combined visual and surgical instrument (resectoscope) is inserted through the urethra where it's surrounded by prostate tissue. An electrical loop cuts away excess prostate tissue to improve urine flow.
TURP typically relieves symptoms quickly. Most men experience a significantly stronger urine flow within a few days. Follow-up treatment to ease symptoms is sometimes needed, particularly after several years have passed.