How it Works
Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is a surgery used to treat urinary problems due to an enlarged prostate.
A combined visual and surgical instrument (resectoscope) is inserted through the tip of your penis and into your urethra, the tube that carries urine from your bladder. Using the resectoscope, your doctor trims away excess prostate tissue that’s blocking urine flow.
TURP is typically performed under anesthesia, which means you will be unconscious during the procedure.
You will 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 declines and you’re able to urinate on your own.
When is this treatment appropriate?
Medications may be the first course of treatment for an enlarged prostate. If medications do not provide enough symptom relief, if side effects are bothersome or if prescriptions become too expensive, some men choose an alternative treatment.
TURP is generally considered an option for men with moderate to severe urinary problems that haven’t responded to medication. Traditionally, TURP has been considered the most effective treatment for an enlarged prostate; however, more minimally invasive procedures are now available.
It is normal to see blood right after surgery. Urination might be uncomfortable, and you may experience a sense of urgency or frequent need to urinate. These symptoms generally improve in four to eight weeks.
A possible long-term effect of any type of a TURP is called “retrograde ejaculation.” This is when sperm go backward into your bladder instead of out through your penis. It doesn’t cause any harm, but it means you may not have any sperm when you ejaculate. Men who still want to have children should keep this in mind.
The risk is very small, but erectile dysfunction can occur after TURP.