If you’ve been diagnosed with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) then you may have heard your doctor talk about TURP or transurethral resection of the prostate—but what does that even mean?
TURP is a surgical procedure where a sector of the prostate gland is removed to help reduce the pressure on the surrounding urethra. An instrument is inserted into the urethra to remove any part of the prostate which is blocking urine flow.
The procedure usually takes around an hour and can be performed either under a general anesthetic or via a spinal anesthetic. Patients are usually required to spend a day or two in hospital following the procedure and will need to have a catheter fitted to remove urine and any blood or blood clots from the bladder.
TURP is only used when other options have failed. Most patients with BPH will be advised to follow a watchful waiting system and to alter their lifestyle to relieve the symptoms of BPH. However, if this or medications don’t relieve the common symptoms of painful urination, urgency and frequency of urination, and difficulty in starting urination that doctors may suggest this as a solution.
The procedure is not without risks. The main risks of TURP include further urination problems, sperm fertility, sperm going back up the urethra into the bladder, and erection problems.
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