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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 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 is done to improve the 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.
TURP syndrome, also known as TUR syndrome, occurs in about 2% of patients. It will usually occur within the first 24 hours after the procedure. Symptoms may include:
Other complications may include:
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 passed 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.
Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP)
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Removed tissue will be sent to a lab for testing.
About 60-90 minutes
For several days after the surgery, you may feel some pain. The catheter may also cause some discomfort. Talk to your doctor about medication to help you manage pain.
An overnight stay is typically planned for a TURP. In some cases, the stay can be up to 2 days.
When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
Recovery from surgery should take about three weeks. Symptoms such as frequent or painful urination may continue for a while. They should lessen in the first six weeks. If there is blood in your urine, lie down and drink a glass or two of fluid. The next time you urinate, the bleeding should stop. If it does not, call your doctor.
The surgery should not affect your sex drive or ability to have sex. Retrograde ejaculation is likely to occur. This should not be relied on as birth control.
After you leave the hospital, call your doctor if any of the following occur:
In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Cancer Society
National Cancer Institute
Men's Health Centre
The Prostate Centre at The Princess Margaret
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BPH. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated July 25, 2013. Accessed August 22, 2013.
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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 2013 by Adrienne Carmack, MD
Last Updated: 9/30/2013