Learning About Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP)

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What is transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)?

Prostate gland

Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is surgery to remove a section of the prostate gland. This is done when the prostate gets too large. The prostate gland is a walnut-sized organ in men that grows around the urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder, through the penis, to outside the body. The prostate gland produces most of the fluid in semen.

When the prostate gets too large, it can press on the urethra. This can make it hard for you to urinate. You may feel like you have to urinate often. You may have trouble starting and stopping your urine stream. Your urine may not come out in a strong, steady stream. Or it may feel like you cannot completely empty your bladder.

This surgery may help you have less trouble urinating. You may have better control over starting and stopping your urine stream and feel like you get more relief when you urinate.

How is the surgery done?

Your doctor will give you medicine to make you sleep or feel relaxed. You will not feel pain.

The doctor will put a thin, lighted tube called a cystoscope, or scope, into your urethra through the opening in your penis. Then the doctor will put small surgical tools through the scope. The doctor will use the surgical tools to cut away the section of the prostate that is blocking urine flow. When the surgery is finished, the doctor will take out the scope.

What can you expect after the surgery?

You will probably stay in the hospital for 1 to 2 days after the surgery. You may be able to go back to work and do many of your usual activities in 1 to 3 weeks. But it is important to avoid heavy lifting or strenuous activities for about 6 weeks.

You may need a urinary catheter for a short time. A urinary catheter is a flexible plastic tube used to drain urine from your bladder when you cannot urinate on your own. If it is still in place when you go home, your doctor will give you instructions on how to care for your catheter.

You may still feel like you need to urinate often in the weeks after your surgery. It often takes up to 6 weeks for this to get better.

Most men still can have erections after surgery (if they were able to have them before surgery), but they may not ejaculate when they have an orgasm. Semen may go into the bladder instead of out through the penis. This is called retrograde ejaculation. This does not hurt and is not harmful to your health. But it may mean that you will not be able to father a child. If this is a concern, talk to your doctor about saving your sperm before the surgery.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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Current as of: May 24, 2016