Risks

Risks of TURP can include:

  • Temporary difficulty urinating. You might have trouble urinating for a few days after the procedure. Until you can urinate on your own, you will need to have a tube (catheter) inserted into your penis to carry urine out of your bladder.
  • Urinary tract infection. This type of infection is a possible complication after any prostate procedure. An infection is increasingly likely to occur the longer you have a catheter in place. Some men who have TURP have recurring urinary tract infections.
  • Dry orgasm. A common and long-term effect of any type of prostate surgery is the release of semen during ejaculation into the bladder rather than out of the penis. Also known as retrograde ejaculation, dry orgasm isn't harmful and generally doesn't affect sexual pleasure. But it can interfere with your ability to father a child.
  • Erectile dysfunction. The risk is very small, but erectile dysfunction can occur after prostate treatments.
  • Heavy bleeding. Very rarely, men lose enough blood during TURP to require a blood transfusion. Men with larger prostates appear to be at higher risk of significant blood loss.
  • Difficulty holding urine. Rarely, loss of bladder control (incontinence) is a long-term complication of TURP.
  • Low sodium in the blood. Rarely, the body absorbs too much of the fluid used to wash the surgery area during TURP. This condition — known as TURP syndrome or transurethral resection (TUR) syndrome can be life-threatening if untreated. A technique called bipolar TURP eliminates the risk of TURP syndrome.
  • Need for retreatment. Some men require follow-up treatment after TURP because symptoms return over time or never adequately improve. Sometimes, retreatment is needed because TURP causes narrowing (stricture) of the urethra or the bladder neck.
July 21, 2016
References
  1. Cunningham GR, et al. Transurethral procedures for treating benign prostatic hyperplasia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 11, 2016.
  2. Wein AJ, et al., eds. Minimally invasive and endoscopic management of benign prostatic hyperplasia. In: Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed May 11, 2016.
  3. Benign prostatic hyperplasia. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  4. Abdul-Muhsin H, et al. Analysis of benign prostatic hyperplasia patients' perspective through a third-party administered survey. Urology. 2016;88:155.
  5. Care following transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
  6. Strope SA, et al. Use of medical therapy and success of laser surgery and transurethral resection of the prostate for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Urology. 2015;86:1115.
  7. Mamoulakis C, et al. Prostatic diseases and male voiding function. Urology. 2015;85:1143.

Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)