The prostate gland is found only in males. It sits below the bladder and wraps around the urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine out of the body. The prostate helps produce semen.


A transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is surgery to remove parts of the prostate gland through the penis. No incisions are needed.


The surgeon reaches the prostate by putting an instrument into the end of the penis and through the urethra. This instrument, called a resectoscope, is about 12 inches long and .5 inch in diameter. It contains a lighted camera and valves that control irrigating fluid. It also contains an electrical wire loop that cuts tissue and seals blood vessels. The wire loop is guided by the surgeon to remove the tissue blocking the urethra one piece at a time. The pieces of tissue are carried by the irrigating fluid into the bladder and then flushed out at the end of the procedure.


Why might I need TURP?

TURP is most often done to relieve symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate. This is often due to benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH). BPH is not cancer. It is a common part of aging. When the prostate gland is enlarged, it can press against the urethra and interfere with or block the passage of urine out of the body.


Sometimes a TURP is done to treat symptoms only, not to cure the disease. For example, if you’re unable to urinate because of prostate cancer, but surgery to remove the prostate isn’t an option for you, you may need a TURP.


There may be other reasons for your healthcare provider to recommend a TURP.


What are the risks of a TURP?

As with any surgery, certain complications can occur with TURP. Some possible complications may include:


Bladder injury


Blood in the urine after surgery

Electrolyte abnormalities


Painful or difficult urination

Retrograde ejaculation (when ejaculate goes into the bladder and not out the penis)

There may be other risks depending on your condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider before the procedure.


What happens after TURP?

In the hospital

The catheter will stay in place for 1 to 3 days to help urine drain while your prostate gland heals. You will probably have blood in your urine after surgery. A bag of solution may be attached to the catheter to flush the blood and potential clots out of your bladder and the catheter. The bleeding will slowly decrease, and then the catheter will be removed.

At home

Once you are home, it will be important to drink lots of fluids. This helps to flush out any remaining blood or clots from your bladder.


You will be told not to do any heavy lifting for several weeks after the TURP. This is to help prevent bleeding.


You may be tender or sore for several days after a TURP.


You shouldn’t drive until your healthcare provider tells you to. Other activity restrictions may also apply.


Tell your healthcare provider to report any of the following:


Fever and/or chills

Trouble urinating

Trouble controlling your bladder

Changes in your urine output, color, or odor

Increasing blood or clots in your urine

Your healthcare provider may give you other instructions after the procedure, depending on your particular situation.

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