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Transurethral Resection of the Prostate

  • Amy Scholten, MPH
Publication Type:


Transurethral Resection of the Prostate



TURP is done to remove part of the prostate gland.

The prostate gland sits below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It also wraps around a tube called the urethra. The urethra allows urine (pee) to flow out of the body.

Reasons for Procedure

A TURP is done to ease pressure on the urethra caused by extra prostate tissue. This will make it easier for urine to pass out of the bladder. TURP should ease urination (peeing) problems such as:

  • Having a hard time starting
  • Frequent urge to go, often waking at night
  • Passing small amounts of urine or passing it slowly
  • Feeling like the bladder does not completely empty

TURP is most often done as part of treatment for:

Possible Complications

Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:

Things that may raise the risk of problems are:

What to Expect

Prior to Procedure

The surgical team may meet with you to talk about:

  • Anesthesia options
  • Any allergies you may have
  • Current medicines, herbs, and supplements that you take and whether you need to stop taking them before surgery
  • Fasting before surgery, such as avoiding food or drink after midnight the night before
  • Whether you need a ride to and from surgery
  • Tests that will need to be done before surgery, such as:


The doctor may give:

Description of Procedure

A scope with a light will be passed through the hole at the tip of the penis. The scope will be moved up to the bladder. The bladder will then be flushed with a solution. The solution will let the doctor see the inside of the body better.

The doctor will use the scope to look at the prostate gland. A small tool will be inserted through the scope. This tool will be used to remove a part of the enlarged prostate. Once the tissue is taken out, the scope will be removed.

A catheter (tube) will be placed in the bladder. It will help urine flow out and give the area time to heal. The catheter may also be used to flush the bladder and to remove blood clots.

Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP)

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Immediately After Procedure

Removed tissue will be sent to a lab for testing.

How Long Will It Take?

About 60 to 90 minutes

Will It Hurt?

Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. Medicine can ease pain and discomfort after the procedure.

Average Hospital Stay

A TURP usually requires an overnight stay. If you have any problems, you may need to stay longer.

Post-procedure Care

At the Hospital

After the procedure, you will have:

  • Pain medicine
  • A catheter (tube) in your bladder to drain urine—overnight or longer

At Home

Recovery can take up to 3 weeks. Physical activity may be limited for a few days.

Problems to Look Out For

Call the doctor if you are not getting better or you have:

  • Problems passing urine
  • Pain, burning, urgency or frequency of urination
  • Blood in the urine that lasts more than a few days
  • Signs of infection, such as fever and chills
  • Pain that you cannot control with the medicines
  • Lasting nausea or vomiting
  • Erectile dysfunction for longer than 3 months after surgery

If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.





  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
  • How is BPH treated? Urology Care Foundation website. Available at:
  • Leocádio DE, Frenkl TL, et al. Office based transurethral needle ablation of the prostate with analgesia and local anesthesia. J Urol. 2007;178(5):2052-2054.
  • Prostate enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at:
  • Tan A, Liao C, et al. Meta-analysis of holmium laser enucleation versus transurethral resection of the prostate for symptomatic prostatic obstruction. Br J Surg. 2007;94(10):1201-1208.
  • Wendt-Nordahl G, Bucher B, et al. Improvement in mortality and morbidity in transurethral resection of the prostate over 17 years in a single center. J Endourol. 2007 Sep;21(9):1081-1087.
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.