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A prostate resection involves removing prostate tissue to relieve the pressure on your urethra.

The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system. It surrounds the tube that carries urine from the bladder. The gland is the size of a walnut and also produces some of the fluid that makes up semen. If something goes wrong with the prostate gland it can affect your sex life, or cause difficulties with passing urine.

It is normal for the prostate to grow larger as you age. However, if the gland tightens around the urethra it can interrupt the flow of urine from your bladder.

If conservative treatment for prostate problems is unsuccessful your consultant may recommend transurethral resection of your prostate (TURP).

What happens during TURP?

TURP is usually performed under spinal anaesthetic and takes less than 1 hour.

Your surgeon will insert a resectoscope (a small operating telescope with a light) into your urethra (the tube that carries urine from you bladder to your penis) and remove enough prostate tissue to relieve the pressure on your urethra. Water is then flushed into the area to clear any debris. Your urethra will be swollen and sore after this procedure so a thin tube called a catheter will be inserted into your urethra to allow urine to drain from your bladder.

You may experience a burning sensation when you first pass urine. This should ease quickly.

Going home after TURP

You should be able to go home after three to four days. Most men begin to return to normal activities within a week. Do not lift or move anything heavy for at least the first 4 weeks. Avoid any strenuous activities such as housework or gardening until released to do so by your surgeon. Take over the counter pain relief such as paracetamol if needed.

You may see some blood in your urine. Drink plenty of fluids to help flush out your system. You may also feel the need to urinate more often. As your bladder and urethra heal this should ease.

Discuss any return to work with your consultant.

Most men make a good recovery, with a big improvement in their symptoms. As with any procedure there could be complications.

General complications may include:

Specific complications of TURP:

  • Impotence
  • Incontinence
  • Fertility problems
  • Retaining urine
  • Prostate enlargement
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