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

What is the prostate?

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 produces some of the fluid that makes up semen.

Is TURP right for me?

If something goes wrong with the prostate gland, it can affect your sex life, or cause difficulties with passing urine.

It's 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.

During the procedure

  1. Your surgeon will insert a resectoscope (a thin telescope with a light) into your urethra (the tube that carries urine from your bladder to your penis)
  2. They'll remove enough prostate tissue to relieve the pressure on your urethra
  3. A thin tube called a catheter will be inserted into your urethra and water will be flushed into the area to clear any debris. This tube will be left in your urethra to allow urine to drain from your bladder afterwards.

Recovery from TURP

Most men make a good recovery, with a big improvement in their symptoms, and return to normal activities within a week. It usually takes 3–6 weeks to fully recover from this procedure.

Short-term recovery

You should be able to go home after 3–4 days. You'll usually stay in bed until the morning following your surgery. Then you'll be encouraged to get up and move around, as well as wear compression stockings, to prevent blood clots.

Your urethra will be swollen and sore after the procedure. You may experience a burning sensation when you first pass urine, but this should ease quickly. 

You may also 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. This should improve as your bladder and urethra heal.

You'll be discharged with the catheter and collection bag. The healthcare team will show you how to care for your catheter.

Managing your recovery at home

Make sure you continue to follow the healthcare team's instructions to reduce the risk of blood clots.

Here are a few things you can do to make sure you recover well:

  • Continue to drink plenty of fluids
  • Gradually build up your activity with gentle exercise like walking 
  • Avoid any strenuous activities for the first 3–4 weeks
  • Don't lift or move anything heavy for at least 4 weeks
  • If the catheter becomes blocked or falls out, contact the healthcare team straightaway
  • Take over-the-counter pain relief if needed.

Time off work

You should be able to return to work after 1–3 weeks, depending on your type of job and how you feel.

Follow-up appointments

You'll need to come back to have the catheter removed after a week or so.

Complications of TURP

As with any procedure, there's a small chance of complications, such as:

  • pain
  • bleeding
  • infection
  • blood clots (deep vein thrombosis - DVT).

Specific complications of TURP include:

  • impotence
  • incontinence
  • fertility problems
  • retaining urine
  • prostate enlargement.
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