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Transurethral resection of the prostate - Overview

Alternative Names

TURP; Prostate resection - transurethral

Definition of Transurethral resection of the prostate:

Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is surgery to remove all or part of the prostate gland, to treat an enlarged prostate.

See also:

Description:

You will be given general anesthesia (asleep, pain-free) or spinal anesthesia (awake, sedated, pain-free). The procedure takes about 1 hour.

The surgeon will insert a tube-like tool called a cystoscope (or endoscope) through your urethra (the tube that carries urine from your bladder out of the penis). The surgeon then inserts a special cutting tool through the cystoscope. This tool will remove part of your prostate gland piece by piece with an electric current.

Why the Procedure Is Performed:

The prostate gland often grows larger as men get older. This is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The larger prostate play causes problems with urinating. Removing part of the prostate gland can often make these symptoms better.

Before you have surgery, your doctor will suggest you make changes in how you eat or drink. You may also be asked to try taking medicine. Your prostate may also need to be removed if taking medicine and changing your diet do not help your symptoms.

TURP is one of the most common procedures for this problem. But other less invasive procedures are also available. Your doctor will consider the size of your prostate gland, your health, and what type of surgery you may want.

Prostate removal may be recommended if you have:

  • Difficulty emptying your bladder (urinary retention)
  • Frequent urinary tract infections
  • Bleeding from the prostate
  • Bladder stones with prostate enlargement
  • Extremely slow urination
  • Damage to the kidneys
  • Reviewed last on: 3/4/2009
  • Louis S. Liou, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Urology, Department of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

References

Fitzpatrick JM. Minimally invasive and endoscopic management of benign prostatic hyperplasia. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 88.

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