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Transurethral Resection of Prostate (TURP)

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Learn more about TURP at King Edward VII’s Hospital

Why would I need a TURP?

You might need to undergo a TURP if you have an enlarged prostate and are experiencing bothersome symptoms because of it.

What symptoms does a TURP address?

After the procedure, you should find that you have fewer issues with the frequency, urgency, and stream of your urination. You might also experience an improvement in your bladder emptying.

When should you speak to your specialist about a TURP?

If you have been experiencing difficulties or irregularities with your urination, you should speak to your specialist and they might recommend that you undergo a TURP.

How is a TURP performed?

A TURP can be performed under either a general or a spinal anaesthetic and it usually takes between 1-2 hours depending on the size of the gland.

During the procedure, the surgeon will insert a small operating telescope (resectoscope) into your urethra and then remove sections of prostate tissue to help relieve the pressure that is being placed on your urethra or bladder.

What is the recovery for a TURP?

The recovery from a TURP can depend on a variety of factors, and you should discuss this with your surgeon.

You will likely need to take a few weeks off of work following a TURP, and you should avoid doing any strenuous activities or having sexual intercourse for up to two months after the procedure.

You and your surgeon will discuss your plan for recovery prior to your TURP.

Are there any risks/complications associated with a TURP?

As with any medical procedure, it is possible for risks or complications to arise. It is best that you speak with your specialist or surgeon about how best to avoid any adverse reactions.

Some complications that have been associated with the procedure are:

  • Impotence
  • Inability to ejaculate
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Incontinence
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Needing to pass urine more often and having sudden urges to pass urine
  • Reduction in fertility
  • Narrowing of your urethra

How can I prepare for a TURP?

Prior to your TURP, you should discuss the preparations you should make with your surgeon, as they can vary depending on the person.

Are there alternatives for a TURP?

For many men, a TURP is not a necessary procedure and there are alternatives that you might want to explore, including:

  • Medications – however these will not offer a permanent solution
  • Holmium laser enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP)
  • Transurethral laser resection of vaporisation of the prostate – a thin tube (cystoscope) affixed with a laser is put into the urethra and then burns away prostate tissue
  • Prostatic urethral lift (PUL) implants – implants are inserted to keep the enlarged prostate away from the urethra
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