Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) surgery is a procedure to relieve symptoms of benign prostate enlargement in males. TURP is a highly effective treatment option that has few risks of complications and a relatively quick recovery time. In general, TURP recovery takes about six weeks, during which time patients may need to use urinary catheters and get lots of bed rest. Many men find TURP recovery to be quite uncomfortable, especially in the first one to two weeks, but pain and other symptoms tend to dissipate quickly in the later stages of healing. It is important to research possible risks and discuss concerns with a doctor before deciding to undergo the procedure.
During TURP surgery, a long, thin tube called a resectoscope is inserted through the urethra and used to snip obstructive tissue from the prostate. Immediately following the procedure, the patient is admitted into a hospital room to begin a one- to two-day inpatient TURP recovery. The first 24 hours typically involve bed rest and receiving fluids and pain medications through an intravenous line. A catheter is placed through the urethra to aid in removing urine and to drain blood from the surgical site. Before leaving the hospital, a doctor will explain how to care for the catheter and watch out for complications at home.
The urinary catheter usually needs to be worn for about one week at home, which may be uncomfortable and at times painful. The urine bag must be changed regularly and the catheter cleaned occasionally. Many patients are given anti-spasmodic medications to help relax the bladder muscles and reduce the chances of the organ trying to force the catheter out of the body. After the catheter is removed, a man may find that he has frequent but unproductive urges to urinate. Time, rest, medications, and following the doctors' advice can help to end urinary problems.
Most men who are doing well in TURP recovery can return to a low level of physical activity in the first two weeks, and gradually return to normal activity levels over the next month. Most doctors suggest that patients avoid trying to have sex for about two months to avoid possible complications. TURP surgery disrupts the flow of semen, usually causing a condition called retrograde ejaculation in which seminary fluid is dispensed into the bladder instead of out of the penis. While fertility is affected, sexual ability and desire are usually left intact. If erectile dysfunction does occur or a patient loses his desire to engage in sex, he can speak with his doctor about possible remedies.
TURP recovery is usually complete after two months. Men who still have trouble voiding urine may need to stay on medications or undergo additional surgeries. Occasional checkups with a doctor are important to keep a close eye on changes in prostate health. For most patients, future prostate infections, obstructions, and cancers can be avoided entirely.