Transurethral Resection of the Prostate Surgery (TURP)

If you suffer from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or other urinary conditions caused by an enlarged prostate, your doctor will likely recommend one of the most effective and efficient prostate surgeries: a transurethral resection of the prostate.

TURP is a specialized surgical procedure used to treat symptoms of an enlarged prostate by removing prostate tissue. It is the gold standard procedure for men who suffer from BPH, which can include symptoms such as:

  • Urinary backup 
  • Slow urinary stream 
  • Delay in starting urination 
  • Urgent feeling of needing to urinate

A TURP procedure is typically performed either under general anesthesia or regional anesthesia that numbs the lower half of your body. The procedure generally takes about an hour to complete.

During the procedure, a resectoscope (a thin surgical instrument with a camera and a cutting tool) is gently inserted into your urethra. Your doctor uses the resectoscope to remove excess prostate tissue that is pressing against the urethra.

The excess pieces of tissue removed during the procedure are carried to the bladder via irrigating fluid. Your doctor will flush them out of the bladder with water after the procedure. These tissue pieces will be sent to the lab to ensure they do not contain cancer cells.

Afterwards, a catheter (flexible tube) may help drain your bladder for a few days. Your procedure may also be followed by other types of treatment, including intravesical therapy.

Because TURP does not require an incision, recovery time is usually short for most patients. Still, there are some risks to the TURP procedure. These include:

  • Infection 
  • Bleeding 
  • Urgent/frequent urination  
  • Urinary incontinence  
  • Retrograde ejaculation