Transurethral Resection of the Prostate

Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP) is a surgical procedure used to treat prostate enlargement and involves cutting away a section of the prostate gland. It is one of the most common types of surgery for an enlarged prostate.

The enlargement of the prostate is a common condition mainly associated with ageing and can restrict the flow of urine from the bladder, causing uncomfortable and inconvenient urinary symptoms.

A TURP is usually a straightforward procedure, and most men will be able to leave hospital within three days of having the operation. However, you will be advised to take things easy for about 6 weeks, and to avoid heavy lifting.

Immediately following this procedure you will be unable to urinate normally as your urethra will be swollen and painful.  A catheter will be inserted into your bladder through your urethra to drain urine away. You can normally go home once your urethra has healed and you can pass urine without the catheter.

Although effective in relieving symptoms of an enlarged prostate, this procedure can cause complications, leading to retrograde ejaculation. This is where semen passes backwards into the bladder during orgasm, rather than out through the penis. This is not harmful, you pass the semen mixed up with urine the next time you urinate and most men do not find it a problem. Retrograde ejaculation may reduce your fertility, but it does not make you sterile.

Some men will also find it difficult to achieve or maintain an erection and there is a higher risk of developing urinary incontinence and urethra strictures (narrowing of the urethra).

If you would like more information about this procedure, please make an appointment to see your GP who can discuss options with you and refer you to a consultant if appropriate.