Transurethral resection of the prostate or TURP is a non-invasive procedure to remove parts of the prostate gland. Primarily, the procedure is done to treat benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) and to relieve symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate which is a common problem in men. When the prostate gland is enlarged, it can press against the urethra and cause a blockage in the urinal passage. The prostate gland is found only in males below the bladder and plays the role to help produce semen. A surgeon upon finding a problem in the prostate inspects the urethra and bladder by passing the scope through the tip of the penis into the bladder. By examining these areas for tumours in the bladder or kidney stones, the resectoscope is then passed into the urethra to cut away the pieces of prostate tissue that may be blocking the urethra.

Also Read:  Prostate Cancer: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Transurethral Resection Of The Prostate/TURP

Why A TURP Surgery Is Needed?

While TURP is most often done to relieve symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate and treat problems out of BPH, in cases when the patient is unable to urinate because of prostate cancer and the surgery to remove the prostate may not be an option, a TURP can be helpful. A simple procedure, TURP involves inserting a tool in the urethra, and the patient does not get any incisions in the body.

What Happens During TURP Procedure?

The procedure of TURP may vary depending on the patient’s health condition and follows the below-mentioned process:

  • Patient is asked to remove clothing and change into a gown. The jewellery and other objects that get in the way of surgery are removed
  • General anaesthesia is administered, and an IV is placed in the arm after he is asked to empty the bladder
  • The heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and oxygen levels are constantly monitored during this time
  • Once sedated, a breathing tube is put through the throat that helps in the breathing process during the surgery
  • The healthcare provider inserts a thin tool into the urethra that has an electric current allowing them to remove part of the prostate. The tool goes in through the urethra and there is no need for any incisions
  • The resectoscope is passed into the urethra to cut away the pieces of prostate tissue that are blocking the urethra. The pieces are then flushed into the bladder and drained out through the urethra
  • After the resectoscope is removed, the surgeon puts a flexible tube called a catheter to drain excess urine

Also Read: Sex Post Prostatectomy: Do's and Dont’s To Restore Physical Intimacy With Your Partner

Post-TURP Protocol

After the procedure, the patient is taken to a recovery room and once again the vitals are thoroughly monitored. Some pain-relieving medications may also be given depending on the condition of the patient. Once the patient is awake liquid drink diet is started and slowly, he is moved to solid foods. The catheter is kept for a few days to help urine drain until the prostate gland heals completely. There may be blood in the urine after surgery, thus a bag is attached to the catheter to flush the blood and clots out of the bladder. When the bleeding slowly decreases, the catheter is removed.

What Risks Does TURP Carry?

Just like any procedure, certain complications can occur with TURP. Some possible complications may include:

  • Bladder injury
  • Bladder issues
  • Blood in the urine after surgery
  • An imbalance of electrolytes
  • Possibility of infection
  • Loss of erection
  • Painful or difficult urination
  • Retrograde ejaculation-when ejaculate goes into the bladder


TURP is a safe procedure to treat urinary problems that could be due to BPH and an enlarged prostate. TURP is effective when the patient has moderate to severe urinary problems and medications do not work effectively.  A non-surgical procedure that has a shorter recovery, TURP is also conducted to remove excess tissue when a health care provider finds a problem in the prostate. The process requires a hospital stay for a few days. Though TURP is safe, it may carry some risks depending on the health condition of the patient therefore any co-morbidities should be informed to the respective healthcare provider before planning to go for the TURP procedure.