What is transurethral resection of the prostate (turp)?

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Laser transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP): Overview

Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is surgery to reduce or remove prostate tissue. It is done when an overgrown prostate gland is pressing on the urethra and causing problems with a man's urine stream.

The prostate gland is a small organ just below a man's bladder. It makes most of the fluid in semen. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body through the penis. It passes through the prostate. When the prostate gets too large, it can press on the urethra.

Your doctor will give you medicine to make you sleep or feel relaxed. You will be kept comfortable. If you are awake during the surgery, you will get medicine to numb you from the chest down.

The doctor puts a thin, lighted tube into your urethra. This is called a scope. It goes in through the opening in your penis. Then the doctor puts a small surgical laser through the scope. The laser is used to remove the part of the prostate that is blocking urine flow. When the doctor is finished, he or she takes out the scope.

This surgery may make it easier for you to urinate. You may have better control when you start and stop your urine stream. And you may feel like you get more relief when you urinate.

You may go home from the hospital on the day of surgery. You may be able to go back to work or most of your usual routine after a few days. But for about 2 weeks, you will need to avoid heavy lifting and activities that might put extra pressure on your bladder.

Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)

Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is surgery that removes some tissue from inside the prostate gland. It is done to treat prostate enlargement (called benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH).

A doctor inserts a special instrument through the urethra to remove part of the inside of the prostate. A wire loop with an electrical current is used to cut away prostate tissue that is blocking the urethra. The prostate tissue is flushed into the bladder and out the body.

How can you care for yourself after laser transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)?

Activity

  • Rest when you feel tired.
  • Be active. Walking is a good choice.
  • Allow your body to heal. Don't move quickly or lift anything heavy until you are feeling better.
  • Ask your doctor when you can drive again.
  • Many people are able to return to work within a few days after surgery.
  • Do not put anything in your rectum, such as an enema or suppository, for 4 to 6 weeks after the surgery.
  • You may shower and take baths when your doctor says it is okay.
  • Ask your doctor when it is okay for you to have sex.

Diet

  • You can eat your normal diet. If your stomach is upset, try bland, low-fat foods like plain rice, broiled chicken, toast, and yogurt.
  • If your bowel movements are not regular right after surgery, try to avoid constipation and straining. Drink plenty of water. Your doctor may suggest fiber, a stool softener, or a mild laxative.

Medicines

  • Your doctor will tell you if and when you can restart your medicines. He or she will also give you instructions about taking any new medicines.
  • If you take aspirin or some other blood thinner, be sure to talk to your doctor. He or she will tell you if and when to start taking those medicines again. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do.
  • Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
    • If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
    • If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine.
  • Take your antibiotics as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.

How do you prepare for a laser transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)?

Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.

Preparing for surgery

  • If you plan to father a child, talk to your doctor about saving your sperm before the surgery. After TURP, there is a chance that your semen may go into your bladder instead of out through your penis.
  • You may need to empty your bowels with an enema or laxative. Your doctor will tell you how to do this.
  • Be sure you have someone to take you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own.
  • Understand exactly what surgery is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
  • If you take a medicine that prevents blood clots, your doctor may tell you to stop taking it before your procedure. Or your doctor may tell you to keep taking it. (These medicines include aspirin and other blood thinners.) Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do.
  • Tell your doctor ALL the medicines, vitamins, supplements, and herbal remedies you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your surgery. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the surgery and how soon to do it.
  • Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance directive. If you don’t have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It’s a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.

What is transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)?

Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is surgery to remove some prostate tissue. It is done when an overgrown prostate gland is pressing on the urethra and making it hard for a man to urinate.

The prostate gland is a small organ just below a man's bladder. It makes most of the fluid in semen. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body through the penis. It passes through the prostate. When the prostate gets too large, it can press on the urethra.

TURP is done to take pressure off of the urethra. It can help you have better control over starting and stopping your urine stream. You may feel like you get more relief when you urinate.

What can you expect as you recover from transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)?

You may stay in the hospital for 1 to 2 days after the surgery. You may be able to go back to work and do many of your usual activities in 1 to 3 weeks. But it is important to avoid heavy lifting or strenuous activities for about 6 weeks.

If your surgery was done with a laser, you may feel better faster. Most people go home on the day of laser surgery, then see their doctor soon after. You may be able to go back to work and your usual activities after a few days. And you may be able to return to strenuous activity and heavy lifting after about 2 weeks. But talk to your doctor first.

You may need a urinary catheter for a short time. This is a flexible plastic tube used to drain urine from your bladder when you can't urinate on your own. If it is still in place when you go home, your doctor will give you instructions for how to care for it.

You may still feel like you need to urinate often in the weeks after your surgery. It often takes up to 6 weeks for this to get better.

After they recover from surgery, most people still can have erections (if they were able to have them before surgery). But they may not ejaculate when they have an orgasm. Semen may go into the bladder instead of out through the penis. This is called retrograde ejaculation. It does not hurt and is not harmful to your health. But it may mean that you will not be able to father a child. If this is a concern, talk to your doctor. You may be able to save your sperm before the surgery.

After laser transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP): Overview

Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is surgery to remove prostate tissue. This is done when an overgrown prostate gland is pressing on the urethra and making it hard to urinate.

After laser surgery, you will have a urinary catheter for a short time. It is a flexible plastic tube used to drain urine from your bladder when you can't urinate on your own. If it is still in place when you go home, your doctor will give you instructions on how to care for it.

For several days after surgery, you may feel burning when you urinate. Your urine may be pink for 1 to 3 weeks after surgery. You also may have bladder cramps, or spasms. Your doctor may give you medicine to help control the spasms.

You may still feel like you need to urinate often in the weeks after your surgery. It often takes up to 6 weeks for this to get better. After you have healed, you may have less trouble urinating. You may have better control over starting and stopping your urine stream. And you may feel like you get more relief when you urinate.

After laser TURP, most people can return to work or many of their usual tasks in a few days. But for about 2 weeks, try to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activities that might put extra pressure on your bladder.

Most people still can have erections after surgery (if they were able to have them before surgery). But they may not ejaculate when they have an orgasm. Semen may go into the bladder instead of out through the penis. This is called retrograde ejaculation. It does not hurt and is not harmful to your health.

How is transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) done?

Your doctor will give you medicine to make you sleep or feel relaxed. You will be kept comfortable. If you are awake during the surgery, you will get medicine to numb you from the chest down.

The doctor will put a thin, lighted tube, which is called a scope, into your urethra through the opening in your penis. Then the doctor will put small surgical tools or a tiny laser through the scope. He or she will then cut or burn away the section of the prostate that is blocking urine flow. When the surgery is finished, the doctor will take out the scope.

What happens on the day of your laser transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)?

  • Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking. If you don't, your surgery may be canceled. If your doctor told you to take your medicines on the day of surgery, take them with only a sip of water.
  • Take a bath or shower before you come in for your surgery. Do not apply lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or nail polish.
  • Do not shave the surgical site yourself.
  • Take off all jewelry and piercings. And take out contact lenses, if you wear them.

At the hospital or surgery center

  • Bring a picture ID.
  • The area for surgery is often marked to make sure there are no errors.
  • You will be kept comfortable and safe by your anesthesia provider. The anesthesia may make you sleep. Or it may just numb the area being worked on.
  • The surgery will take 1 to 2 hours.

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