Transurethral resection of the prostate

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Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is another type of prostatic surgery. Sometimes this kind of surgery is needed to remove the part of the tumour around your urethra (tube that leads urine from the bladder). This surgical procedure uses a resectoscope (thin, lighted medical instrument with a cutting tool) to remove tissue from the prostate. This operation is not done to cure the cancer but rather to relieve symptoms caused by tumour before other cancer treatment is given. TURP may also be performed on patients who are not suitable candidates for radical prostatectomy because of their age or general bad health condition.

How TURP is performed:

This procedure uses a thin medical instrument (resectoscope) which is passed through your penis into the urethra. This instrument serves the surgeon to see inside your urethra as well as to remove the abnormal tissue. The procedure is performed either a general or epidural anaesthetic. The operation requires about 2-3 nights of hospitalisation.

What happens after the operation?

You may have a catheter into your bladder to drain the urine for a few days after this surgery. It is quite usual to have blood forming in the urine after this procedure. To prevent those from blocking the catheter a fluid might be passed into your bladder and drained out through the catheter to slowly clear the urine. As soon as the urine is clear the catheter will be removed from your bladder. You must tell the nurse if you are experiencing problems passing urine. You may have some pain or discomfort after the treatment. There are many types of painkillers. If these do not help and you continue to have pain you must tell your doctor as soon as possible so they can change your painkillers to suit you.

Further general information Your doctors and specialist nurses are in an ideal position to give you relevant information on your disease and treatment as they know your individual circumstances. Cancerbackup has a help line (0808 800 1234) and a prize winning video available in English, Italian, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati & Hindi explaining Radiotherapy & Chemotherapy. has over 500 pages describing cancer, its management, practical tips and tool which patients, their carers and their doctors have found helpful during the cancer journey.

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