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Resection of the
An information guide
The prostate is a fleshy organ which is wrapped around the neck of
the bladder and around the urethra, the tube which empties urine
from the bladder. It is made of glands and muscle and it has a very
rich blood supply. When a man has an orgasm the prostate muscle
squeezes a small amount of fluid from the glands into the semen
where it seems to help sperm become more mobile.
Why might you need a TURP?
A TURP is usually carried out because a man has had bothersome
urinary symptom; for example:
• poor flow or interrupted stream whilst urinating
• recurrent urinary tract infections
• having to get up during the night to urinate (sometimes
• feeling of not emptying your bladder properly
• dribbling especially after urinating
• for some men it may prove impossible to pass urine. This is caused
by an increase in the size of the prostate, which occurs with age.
The prostate is situated under the bladder and around the urethra.
This enlargement causes constrictions on this passageway and
results in the urinary symptoms
The amount of enlargement varies from man to man, as do the
problems which it causes. In most this is an entirely benign (non-
cancerous) process, which is so common it could almost
be considered a normal part of getting old. In a small number of
men the growth is a malignant (cancerous) growth. The condition
in which a prostate is simply enlarged is known as Benign Prostatic
What is a TURP?
It is a procedure where the surgeon removes part of the prostate
from the bladder through the urethra using a special fine telescopic
instrument, which allows him to see the prostatic tissue and remove
it. There are no cuts or stitches. It can be carried out under a general
or spinal anaesthetic.
If this operation is carried out under general anaesthetic there is a
small risk of complications to your heart and lungs. However before
the operation you will attend the pre-operative assessment clinic
where tests will be carried out. These results will ensure that the
operation is carried out in the safest way possible for you, which
may involve you having a spinal anaesthetic instead.
Most of the risks will have been explained to you by your doctor but
the main ones are a risk of incontinence, infection, retrograde
ejaculation (where the sperm goes into the bladder on orgasm
instead of coming out of the penis) and the risk of bleeding which
could require a blood transfusion.
The main benefit is that you should be able to urinate easier and
have fewer problems with your urinary system. You should not
need to go as frequently as you have been doing. If you have had a
catheter in then this operation will being carried out to try and get
rid of this for you.
Your doctor will have already tried you on medication to see if your
urinary symptoms improve. For your symptoms to improve you
need to have this operation carried out. If you are happy with your
symptoms please discuss this with your consultant who can advise
you about the operation, as it may be needed to ensure your
kidneys are not affected by your symptoms.
Before the operation
• you will be asked to attend the Pre-operative clinic where tests
may be carried out such as heart monitoring, blood tests and urine
• if you are taking anti-coagulants (Warfarin, Aspirin or Sinthrome)
please inform the pre-op assessment staff
• please ensure you have a list of your current medications for the
pre-operative assessment Nurses
• this operation can be undertaken using either a spinal or general
anaesthetic. You may be advised at the preoperative clinic which is
most appropriate for you. If not you will be advised on the ward by
• you may be asked to sign your consent form after being fully
informed about the procedure.
• you will be asked relevant information by the nurse and a doctor
• you may be seen by an anaesthetist
• your operation will be explained to you and you will be asked to
sign a consent form, if you have not already done this in clinic.
• you may require oxygen following your operation
• you may have an IV line (drip) that will remain in place until you
are eating and drinking normally
• your blood pressure, temperature, pulse and respiration rate will
be recorded by the nurse
• you may experience some pain and discomfort after surgery. We
advise that you keep a supply of pain killers at home
• you should be able to eat and drink normally once the anaesthetic
has worn off
• you will have a catheter in your bladder which will be draining
blood stained urine you may also have irrigation fluid running
through this catheter into your bladder to help to stop the bleeding
• you will need to stay in bed whilst the irrigation is flowing which is
for approximately 24 hours
• the doctor will decide when the irrigation fluid can be removed.
This is usually the day after your surgery as long as the bleeding has
settled. Once this has been removed you will be encouraged to
drink plenty of extra fluids to help your catheter to continue to
usually 2 days after your operation
• the nurses will assess how well you are passing urine and you will
need to use bottles, so it can be measured and recorded, a different
bottle should be used each time you pass urine
• as there is a slight risk of incontinence following this surgery you
therefore may be taught pelvic floor exercises if needed
• you may be given antibiotics, but you must ensure you complete
• your doctor and nurses will discuss with you when they are happy
for you to go home
• if you require a fit note to cover your hospital stay, please ask the
nurses on the ward. Any further fit notes can be obtained from your
• your consultant may arrange to see you in the outpatient
• you may feel tired for a few weeks after the operation, but this
will gradually improve. It can take up to 3 months before you are
back to your usual self
• you can drive once you can perform an emergency stop without
any discomfort, which is generally after three weeks
• avoid becoming constipated as straining can put pressure on the
prostatic area and cause bleeding.
There will still be some blood in your urine for at least 2-3 weeks
following the operation and sometimes as long as 4-5 weeks. It can
take up to 6 weeks for the prostate to heal. Around 10 days after
the operation you may see some more blood in your urine, this is
due to the “scab” falling off. If you do get blood in your urine try
and drink more fluids. If the bleeding continues to be heavy or if
you are concerned contact your GP. Discomfort on passing urine,
having a temperature and excessive bleeding could be a sign of
infection. You should see your GP who will decide what action
should be taken.
At first you may experience some difficulty in controlling your urine
and may continue to go to the toilet frequently. Be patient - staff
will advise you on pelvic floor exercises to help control your
dribbling. It can take up to six months before you see the full
Yes – until any bleeding settles, which should be within 2 to 3
weeks, then drink 6-8 cups every day of any fluid e.g. tea, coffee,
fruit juice, water. It is better not to drink too much after 6-8pm to
avoid having to go to the toilet in the night. You may drink alcohol
in moderation after completing any antibiotic therapy which may
have been prescribed.
Should I continue to take my tablets?
Yes – unless your doctor has told you to stop. The ward staff will go
through your medications with you on discharge. When you finish
your supply of tablets you should return to your GP for further
advice. If you have been on tablets for your waterworks before the
operation you do not need to continue with these afterwards.
Only gentle exercise is recommended for the first 2-3 weeks. Try to
avoid heavy lifting or straining. You may start driving short
distances after one week. Driving long distances should be avoided
for 2-3 weeks.
There is no reason why you cannot go on holiday after the
operation. Although flights or long distance travelling is best left
for 2-3 weeks. You must also inform your holiday insurance
company that you have just had an operation
Can I have sex?
You should be able to enjoy a normal sex life, but it is best to wait at
least 2-3 weeks after your operation. One very common
consequence of the operation is “retrograde ejaculation”. This
means that when you have an orgasm nothing comes out of the
penis. This is because the sperm is going back into the bladder
instead of outwards in the usual way. It is a harmless side effect but
it does mean that your fertility will be reduced, making it difficult
to father children. A large number of people having a prostate
operation suffer this side effect.
Most enlarged prostates are not due to cancer. When you have the
operation a specimen is always routinely sent to test for cancer. The
results of this can take up to 10-14 days so it is most likely you will
have been discharged before we receive it. Most patients are not
given a follow up appointment, your GP will be informed about the
results and if there is a need to discuss anything further with you an
appointment will be sent.
If you are worried or have problems after your discharge, contact
your GP or telephone the ward for advice. In an emergency, go to
the nearest Accident & Emergency department.