Transurethral Resection of the Prostate

ExitCare ImageTransurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is the removal of part of your prostate to treat noncancerous (benign) prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). BPH typically occurs in men older than 40 years. It is the abnormal growth of cells in your prostate. Specifically, it is an abnormal increase in the number of cells that make up your prostate tissue. This causes an increase in the size of your prostate. Often, in the case of BPH, the prostate becomes so large that it compresses the tube that drains urine out of your body from your bladder (urethra). Eventually, this compression can obstruct the flow of urine from your bladder. This obstruction can cause recurrent bladder infection and difficulties with bladder control and bladder emptying. The goal of TURP is to remove enough prostate tissue to allow for an unobstructed flow of urine, which often resolves the associated conditions.


  • Any allergies you have.

  • Any medicines you are taking, including herbs, eye drops, over-the-counter medicines, and creams.

  • Any problems you have had with the use of anesthetics.

  • Any blood disorders you have, including bleeding problems and clotting problems.

  • Previous surgeries you have had.

  • Any prostate infections you have had.


Generally, TURP is a safe procedure. However, as with any surgical procedure, complications can occur. Possible complications associated with TURP include:

  • Difficulty getting an erection.

  • Scarring, which may cause problems with the flow of your urine.

  • Injury to your urethra.

  • Incontinence from injury to the muscle that surrounds your prostate, which controls urine flow.

  • Infection.

  • Bleeding.

  • Injury to your bladder (rare).


Your caregiver will tell you when you need to stop eating and drinking. If you take any medicines, your caregiver will tell you which ones you may keep taking and which ones you will have to stop taking and when.

Just before the procedure you will also receive medicine to make you fall asleep (general anesthetic). This will be given through a tube that is inserted into one of your veins (intravenous [IV] tube).


Your surgeon inserts an instrument that is similar to a telescope with an electric cutting edge (resectoscope) through your urethra to the area of the prostate gland. The cutting edge is used to remove enlarged pieces of your prostate, one piece at a time. At the end of your procedure, a flexible tube (catheter) will be inserted into your urethra to drain your bladder. Special plastic bags filled with solution will be connected to the end of the catheter. The solution will be used to irrigate blood from your bladder while you heal.


You will be taken to the recovery area. Once you are awake, stable, and taking fluids well, you will be taken to your hospital room. Typically, you will stay in the hospital 1–2 days after this procedure. The catheter usually is removed before discharge from the hospital.