If you have been diagnosed with an enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure called transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). This minimally invasive surgery is the most common and effective treatment for removing excess prostate tissue and improving urine flow in men with BPH.
The TURP procedure involves inserting a thin, tube-like instrument called a resectoscope through the urethra and into the prostate gland. This instrument contains a light, valves for flushing fluid, and a wire loop that uses an electric current or laser energy to surgically remove excess prostate tissue that is blocking urine flow. The tissue pieces are flushed into the bladder and eliminated from the body. At the end of surgery, a catheter is inserted through the penis to drain urine while the prostate heals.
TURP surgery has been the gold standard BPH treatment for many years due to its excellent outcomes. It quickly removes prostate tissue obstructing urine flow, providing fast relief of symptoms like frequent/urgent urination, weak stream, and incomplete emptying of the bladder. Most men only require a 1-2 day hospital stay after TURP surgery. The catheter is often removed shortly after surgery before going home. TURP is less invasive than traditional prostate removal surgery since there are no external incisions.
As with any surgery requiring anesthesia, TURP poses some risks like blood clots, infection, and adverse reactions to anesthesia. Some specific side effects of TURP include mild bleeding, urinary incontinence (leakage), retrograde ejaculation, and the possibility of needing a repeat procedure down the road if the prostate re-enlarges. Your doctor will discuss ways to minimize risks and help you recover comfortably after your TURP.
TURP may be recommended for men with moderate to severe BPH symptoms who require surgical removal of prostate tissue. It’s an excellent option for men wanting a minimally invasive alternative to traditional prostate removal surgery. TURP typically removes only the enlarged prostate tissue, so there may be less need for further treatment later on.
Recovery time after TURP surgery is usually 1-2 weeks. You can expect some pain and discomfort as the prostate area heals. Your doctor will provide medication to manage pain, as well as instructions for care and activity restrictions after surgery. They will also schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your progress, remove stitches, and check that your urine flow has improved.
Most men see significant improvement in their urinary symptoms and flow rate after recovering from TURP surgery. While TURP does not cure BPH, it can greatly improve your quality of life. Some men may need additional treatment down the road if the prostate re-enlarges. Be sure to discuss your options for long-term BPH management with your urologist.
If you are hesitant about surgery, talk to your doctor about nonsurgical BPH treatments like medications and minimally invasive procedures that use heat or microwaves to shrink the enlarged prostate. Together, you can determine the best course of action to manage your BPH symptoms.
While TURP surgery is the most proven and effective BPH treatment, making an informed decision is crucial. Discuss the benefits and risks of TURP thoroughly with your urologist.