Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)

What is Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)?

Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is a surgery used to treat an enlarged prostate and relieve the urinary problems associated with it.

A flexible instrument called a resectoscope is surgically inserted into the penis and urethra-tube carrying urine from the urinary bladder. The excess tissue is cut off which blocks the urine flow.

It is recommended in men suffering from moderate to severe urinary problems which are not relieved even after taking medications. 

It is the most effective in treating an enlarged prostate, although there are other effective minimally invasive procedures available nowadays. They have lesser complications and offer faster recovery than TURP.

How to Prepare for TURP surgery?

The doctor may conduct a thorough physical examination and tests for evaluating your fitness for undergoing this surgery. 

The doctor may modify the dose of certain medicines before the day of the surgery. Make sure that you discuss this with your doctor in detail. 

Antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection may be prescribed.

How is TURP surgery is performed?

The TURP procedure takes place for about 60 to 90 minutes under general or spinal anesthesia. 

Antibiotics are given to prevent infection. The surgeon inserts a resectoscope from the tip of the penis passing it through the urethra, into the prostate area. 

Instruments are used to cut the excess tissue within the prostate gland, piece by piece along with fluid irrigation into the bladder. The pieces are removed when the operation is finished.

What are the post surgery care to be taken?

  • You may be required to stay at the hospital for one to two days after the surgery. 

  • The urinary catheter inserted after the surgery will help to relieve the swelling that may block urinary flow. It is removed in 24 to 48 hours or until the swelling decreases allowing the patient to urinate on their own.

  • Some common side effects seen after this surgery include blood in your urine for a few days following the surgery and painful urination or frequent urination for six to eight weeks.

What are the Benefits of TURP?

TURP helps relieve urinary symptoms caused by conditions like benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), including:

  • Frequent need for peeing especially at night

  • Difficulty or inability to pee

  • Slowed or discontinuous urine flow

  • Urinary tract infections (UTI)

And other complications of obstructed urinary flow like bleeding seen in the urine, recurrent UTIs, kidney or bladder damage, and bladder stones.

What are the Risks of TURP?

  • Temporary difficulty while peeing for a few days after the procedure. A catheter can assist in addressing this issue.

  • Urinary tract infection. 

  • Dry orgasm. 

  • Erectile dysfunction. 

  • Excessive bleeding. 

  • Loss of bladder control (incontinence)

  • Low sodium in the blood. Leading to a condition, known as TURP syndrome or transurethral resection (TURP) syndrome. It is life-threatening if left untreated. A technique called bipolar TURP helps to avoid this situation.

  • Need for re-treatment

  • Bladder injury

  • Electrolyte abnormalities

  • Retrograde ejaculation

Some general instructions to be followed after surgery:

-Drink lots of water daily.

-Eat a healthy balanced diet rich in fiber to prevent constipation and promote normal bowel movements. The doctor may also suggest a stool softener for this purpose.

-Resume normal medicines after consulting with the doctor in advance.

-Avoid strenuous activity like heavy lifting and sexual intercourse for six weeks following the surgery. Ask the doctor about the recovery time you may require in particular.

You must immediately contact the doctor on noticing the following after surgery:

  • Inability to pee

  • Thickened urine flow 

  • Bright red blood or clots in the urine

  • Urine is not appearing clear after 24 hours evening despite drinking water

  • High fever or chills 

After TURP surgery you should experience better urine flow within a few days. Follow-up treatment might be required depending on the disease.

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