Transurethral Resection Of The Prostate (TURP) – What Should You Know?

Transurethral Resection Of The Prostate (TURP) – What Should You Know?


By Dr. Nitesh Jain, Urology

Prostate gland surrounds the urethra, and when there is an enlargement of the prostate, it obstructs the flow of urine. Doctors recommend a Transurethral Resection of the Prostate when there is such enlargement of the prostate and it is not responding to medication. Nevertheless, usually it is not an urgent operation. In fact, the patient may need to wait for surgery for days or even months.

Symptoms of Enlarged Prostate

There are a number of symptoms of an enlarged prostate. Some of these are:

  1. Problem in urination.
  2. Weak flow of urine flow often resulting in stopping and then starting again.
  3. The need to strain to urinate.
  4. A frequent feeling for urination.
  5. Waking up several times in the night for urination.
  6. Sudden urges for urination.
  7. Unable to empty the bladder completely.

The Procedure

Surgeons conduct Transurethral Resection of the Prostate with a scope device known as Resectoscope. This device consists of a thin tube carrying a light, a camera, and a loop of wire. The device is inserted through the tip of the penis and passed along the urethra until it finds the prostate gland. This indicates that there is no need to make even a pinhole incision in the abdomen or anywhere else.

The wire loop is then heated with electric current. As the loop gets heated, the surgeon manipulates it to cut out part of the enlarged prostate, which is causing symptoms. A catheter is used to pump fluid into the bladder of the urethra and flush out debris from the part of the prostate that may have lodged in the bladder.

The procedure may take an hour or more depending on the amount of enlargement. After the surgery, the patient is shifted to the ward for recuperating. The catheter is left in the place until the patient is able to urinate normally.

The procedure may be carried out under spinal or general anesthesia so that the patient does not feel any pain during the procedure. In spinal anesthesia, the patient remains awake, but does not feel anything below the waist. On the other hand, in general anesthesia, the patient remains unconscious during the procedure.

Risks of Procedure

It is mostly a safe procedure, and there are few risks of complications. However, some do lose their ability to ejaculate during sex, although they enjoy the pleasure associated with ejaculation. Some people also temporarily lose their ability to control their urination, although they usually recover in a few weeks. In rare cases, there may be a risk of erectile dysfunction and urinary tract infection.

Post Precautions

These are some of the post precautions that people must take to avoid the complications after the surgery:

  1. Drink a lot of water
  2. Consume high fiber food
  3. Avoid sex for a few weeks
  4. Avoid heavy weight training for a week at least
  5. Avoid Driving for a few weeks


TURP is usually not recommended for people who take blood thinning medications. This is for the simple reason that there is a risk of bleeding in this procedure, and the problem is aggravated in people taking these medications.

One must also consult an experienced and skilled surgeon for this and follow post medication and precaution properly.