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TURP procedure

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Treatment for:

Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is a procedure that removes extra prostate tissue, used to relieve enlarged prostate symptoms.

  • For people who have tried medication and lifestyle changes but still have symptoms
  • When alternative procedures aren’t an option
  • Involves staying in hospital for two to three days
  • Full recovery takes three to six weeks

Birmingham Prostate Clinic are a team of leading urologists and oncologists, who specialise in diagnosing and treating prostate, bladder and kidney conditions.

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What is TURP?

TURP is the most traditional procedure for prostate enlargement – it’s been around for almost a century. It surgically removes excess tissue from the prostate, which stops it from pressing against the urethra (urine tube) and blocking the flow of urine.

It’s generally a safe and effective procedure and the risk of serious complications is small, but it’s also the most invasive option.

Who is TURP for?

Treatment for an enlarged prostate starts with medication and lifestyle changes. If these don’t work well or you’re having unwanted side effects, you might consider having surgery. 

TURP might be right for you if:

  • You want to stop taking medication
  • You have trouble emptying your bladder and use a catheter
  • You can’t have an alternative therapy like laser surgery or UroLift
  • Keeping your fertility and sexual function (erections and ejaculation) aren’t a priority

A doctor might also offer TURP as a treatment for prostate cancer. It’s not a cure, but it can help you urinate normally if you’re having issues. 

How does TURP compare to other treatments?

TURP is a widely practised surgery and is considered safe, but as with any treatment, side effects can occur. 

Other therapies aim to reduce some of these side effects. Options like Rezūm and UroLift are designed to shrink or push back the prostate without physically cutting away tissue. 

Another technique called GreenLight laser uses high-powered laser beams to destroy the extra prostate tissue. It may be just as effective as TURP in the long run, but with fewer side effects.

Your doctor might recommend considering an alternate technique before TURP. Having one procedure doesn’t usually prevent you from having TURP in the future.

Why should you choose Birmingham Prostate Clinic?

We are a leading group of urological and cancer experts with a seamless patient pathway for personalised prostate treatments.

Our consultants are experienced in nearly all treatments for enlarged prostates, which gives them a unique perspective for comparing each option. We can help you decide if TURP or an alternative treatment is right for you.

What to expect if you’re having TURP

First of all, you’ll be invited for a check-up to see if you’re a good candidate. You’ll have heart and blood tests and a chest x-ray to make sure you’re fit for surgery and you’ll be asked about any medicines you take.


  • On the day, a nurse checks your vitals and helps you prepare for surgery
  • Next, your surgeon and anaesthetist will visit you and you’ll have the chance to ask any questions before the procedure
  • A general anaesthetic will be used, which means you’ll be asleep for the procedure


  • Once you’re asleep, the surgeon gently inserts a thin metal tube through the urethra, which has a light, camera and a wire loop carrying an electric current
  • Next, they’ll use the heated wire loop to shave off layers of excess prostate tissue
  • Finally, your surgeon will place a catheter into your urethra to pump a sterile solution into your bladder that helps flush out pieces of removed prostate
  • The whole procedure takes about an hour


  • You’ll wake up in the recovery room feeling sleepy
  • The catheter is left in place to help you urinate normally
  • You may be given antibiotics to prevent any infections
  • You’ll usually be able to go home after 1 to 3 days

Recovering at home

  • It’s normal to feel tired for a week or two after surgery while your body heals
  • You may have some trouble urinating or notice blood in your urine for a few weeks
  • Keep an eye out for any signs of a urinary tract infection, like burning or stinging
  • Your doctor will usually advise you to avoid strenuous activity, driving and having sex for at least a few weeks

What are the risks of TURP?

TURP is generally safe and serious complications are very rare. 

But here are some common long-term effects you might experience after treatment:

  • Retrograde ejaculation, also called a “dry orgasm”, where semen goes into the bladder instead of through the penis
  • Having trouble urinating normally or controlling your bladder
  • Problems getting and keeping an erection, also called erectile dysfunction

Sometimes these side effects only last a few weeks, but other times they’re permanent. Your doctor can help you weigh up the risks and benefits. 

Some people eventually need more surgery if their prostate becomes enlarged again. You can choose to repeat TURP or opt for an alternative therapy, depending on your doctor’s advice.

How can we help?

Get in touch with our friendly team to find out more about tests or treatment, or to book an appointment with an expert consultant near you.