Benign Enlarged Prostate and TURP

What is an enlarged prostate?

The prostate is a gland of the male reproductive tract. It surrounds the urethra, which is the thin tube that carries urine or semen out of the body through the penis. The prostate enlarges with age. An enlarged prostate can compress the urethra and restrict the flow of urine. This can cause the bladder wall to thicken which may result in an increased urge to urinate. This condition is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH, and is a common cause of urinary problems in older men.

What is a TURP and why do I need it?

A Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP) is a minimally invasive method of cutting away prostate tissue using a fine telescope introduced through the penis. It is performed under general anaesthetic. This procedure is used to treat bladder outlet obstruction caused by an enlarged prostate.

What is my likely recovery from a TURP?

Most patients spend 2 nights in hospital and have a catheter or urine drain in their penis for those nights and this is usually removed prior to discharge. Most patients will have some discomfort and frequency when passing urine but in the vast majority this will last for less than 1 week. Patients are asked to refrain from driving a vehicle for 2 weeks and heavy lifting for 6 weeks. It is normal for patients to have visible blood and occasional clots in their urine for up to 6 weeks after surgery. Patients are advised to drink between 2 and 3 litres of water per day in this period.

What happens if I can’t pass urine after the operation?

If you can’t pass urine initially after surgery another catheter or urine drain will be inserted in the penis and a further attempt will be made at removal of the catheter usually within 1 week.

  • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS)
  • Sydney Adventist Hospital
  • American Urological Association (AUA)
  • Australian Medical Association (AMA)
  • Norwest Private Hospital
  • The University of Sydney
  • European Association of Urology (EAU)