Transurethral resection of the prostate


Transurethral resection of the prostate is a surgery to remove the inside part of the prostate gland. It is done in order to treat symptoms of an enlarged prostate.

Related topics include benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostate resection -- minimally invasive, and simple prostatectomy.

Alternative Names

TURP; Prostate resection - transurethral


The surgery takes about 1 hour.

You will be given medicine before surgery so you don't feel pain. You may get general anesthesia in which you are asleep and pain-free or spinal anesthesia in which you are awake, but relaxed and pain-free.

The surgeon will insert a scope through the tube that carries urine from your bladder out of the penis. This tube is called the urethra. A special cutting tool is placed through the scope. It is used to remove the inside part of your prostate gland using electricity.

Why the Procedure Is Performed

Your doctor may recommend this surgery if you have benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The prostate gland often grows larger as men get older. The larger prostate play causes problems with urinating. Removing part of the prostate gland can often make these symptoms better.

Prostate removal may be recommended if you have:

Before you have surgery, your health care provider will suggest you make changes in how you eat or drink. You may also be asked to try taking medicine. Your prostate may need to be removed if these steps do not help. Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is one of the most common types of prostate surgery. Other procedures are also available.

Your doctor will consider the following when deciding on the type of surgery:


Risks for any surgery are:

Additional risks are:

Before the Procedure

You will have many visits with your provider and tests before your surgery. Your visit will include:

If you are a smoker, you should stop several weeks before the surgery. Your provider can give you tips on how to do this.

Always tell your provider what drugs, vitamins, and other supplements you are taking, even ones you bought without a prescription.

During the weeks before your surgery:

On the day of your surgery:

After the Procedure

You will stay in the hospital for 1 to 3 days.

After surgery, you will have a small tube, called a Foley catheter, in your bladder to remove urine. Your bladder may be flushed with fluids (irrigated) to keep it clear of clots. The urine will look bloody at first. In most cases, the blood goes away within a few days. Blood can also seep around the catheter. A special solution may be used to flush out the catheter and keep it from getting clogged with blood. The catheter will be removed within 1 to 3 days for most people.

You will be able to go back to eating a normal diet right away.

You will need to stay in bed until the next morning. You will be asked to move around as much as possible after that point.

Your health care team will:

You may need to wear tight stockings and use a breathing device to keep your lungs clear.

You may be given medicine to relieve bladder spasms.

Outlook (Prognosis)

TURP relieves symptoms of an enlarged prostate most of the time. You may have burning with urination, blood in your urine, frequent urination, and need to urgently urinate.


Kaplan SA. Benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostatitis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 129.

McVary KT, Roehrborn CG, Avins AL, et al. Update on AUA guideline on the management of benign prostatic hyperplasia. J Urol. 2011;185(5):1793-803. PMID: 21420124

Roehrborn CG. Benign prostatic hyperplasia. In: Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Novick AC, Partin AW, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 10.

Roehrborn CG. Male lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Med Clin North Am. 2011;95(1):87-100. PMID: 21095413 21095413.

Review Date: 8/31/2015
Reviewed By: Jennifer Sobol, DO, urologist at the Michigan Institute of Urology, West Bloomfield, MI. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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