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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Prostate surgery (TURP)

Pokanga repe tātea

Transurethral resection of prostate (TURP) is an operation to remove part of your prostate gland. It's commonly used to treat urinary problems due to an enlarged prostate.

The prostate is a small gland located between your penis and bladder. It surrounds your urethra (the tube that carries wee (urine) from your bladder to your penis, where it leaves your body). The prostate helps to make semen.

The prostate enlarges as you get older. As your prostate becomes enlarged, it squeezes your urethra. This can cause problems weeing (urinating), such as:

Doctors usually recommend a TURP when your symptoms significantly affect your day-to-day living and aren't helped by medication.

During a TURP

During a TURP, a thin instrument called a resectoscope is passed up the urine tube (urethra) from the tip of the penis. Small pieces of the prostate are cut away through the instrument.

A tube (urinary catheter) is then placed through your urethra to your bladder and fluid is used to flush out the pieces.

After a TURP

You'll usually have the catheter in your bladder for one to two days after your surgery.

Once it's removed, it's usual to have some trouble peeing and some blood in your pee for a few weeks.

Rare complications after a TURP include bleeding, loss of control of wee (incontinence), and narrowing of the urethra (stricture).

A TURP doesn't usually affect sexual function. But some men find they no longer have any fluid (ejaculate) when they have an orgasm. This is because the fluid goes into the bladder instead of out the penis. This doesn’t reduce sexual pleasure but can have an effect on fathering a child.

Self-care after a TURP

It usually takes three to four weeks to fully recover from a TURP. During this time, you should:


Seek urgent medical help if:

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed July 2022.


See also:

Having an anaesthetic

Pain relief for adults on discharge from hospital

Preparing for your operation

Page reference: 32613

Review key: HIPRH-45800