[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP) is a surgical procedure also known as prostate resection. During the surgery, the inside part of the prostate gland is removed for the treatment of patients who suffer from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a disease consistent with an enlarged prostate. The majority of men suffer from enlarged prostate as they get old, but the reasons for it are not fully understood. The disease is not cancerous and does not increase the risk for prostate cancer.

The prostate, a walnut-sized gland located below men’s bladder, near the penis, in front of the rectum and around the urethra, is responsible for the production of a fluid that carries sperm during ejaculation. Due to the prostate enlargement, it begins to press on the urethra and cause urination and bladder problems. Symptoms of BPH include dribbling at the end of urinating, urinary retention, incomplete emptying of the bladder, incontinence, needing to urinate two or more times per night, pain with urination or bloody urine, slowed or delayed start of the urinary stream, straining to urinate, strong and sudden urge to urinate, and/or weak urine stream.

TURP’s Uses and Benefits

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “BPH is so common that it has been said all men will have an enlarged prostate if they live long enough. A small amount of prostate enlargement is present in many men over age 40. More than 90% of men over age 80 have the condition.” Since the disease does not have great risks, not all men need a TURP procedure, and in the majority of cases, the treatment for BPH is watchful waiting.”

However, TURP may be recommended in cases of difficulty emptying the bladder, frequent urinary tract infections, bleeding from the prostate, bladder stones with prostate enlargement, extremely slow urination, and/or damage to the kidneys. Therefore, before conducting a TURP, physicians conduct a complete physical examination, analyze the size of the prostate, patient’s health, and other potential treatments, including dietary alterations and medication.

TURP Procedure

The surgical procedure takes about one hour and the surgeon inserts a scope through the urethra, the tube that transports urine and sperm out of the penis. Then, a special electrical cutting tool is placed through the scope and it is used to remove the interior of the prostate gland. Patients don’t feel anything during TURP since they are either asleep and pain-free under general anesthesia or awake, but relaxed and also pain-free with spinal anesthesia.

“TURP to treat BPH has been the gold standard for decades. It is still considered the standard by the CUA [Canadian Urology Association], and as the “benchmark for surgical therapies” by the American Urological Association. Moreover, the European Urological Association considers TURP “the treatment of choice for prostates sized 30 to 80mL.” TURP has been demonstrated to be efficient, cost-effective and, most importantly, durable with low long-term complications and re-treatment rates,” is explained in the study “TURP in the new century: an analytical reappraisal in light of lasers.”

TURP’s Risks and Prognosis

Despite being a safe procedure with proven benefits, there are risks associated with a TURP surgery. These include problems with urine control, loss of sperm fertility, erection problems, passing the semen into the bladder instead of out through the urethra (retrograde ejaculation), urethral stricture (tightening of the urinary outlet from scar tissue), transurethral resection (TUR) syndrome (water buildup during surgery), and damage to internal organs and structures.

In addition, there are also side effects that may occur after any type of surgery, such as blood clots in the legs that may travel to the lungs, breathing problems, infection in the surgical wound, lungs (pneumonia), or bladder or kidney, blood loss, heart attack or stroke during surgery, or reactions to medications. However, patients who undergo TURP usually experience relief of their symptoms, still being the most common course of treatment in the case of severe BPH.

Note: BPH News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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