Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP)

A TURP is a surgical procedure performed on the prostate gland. In this lesson, we'll learn about this procedure, the complications associated with it, and the recovery time for the patient.

What Is a TURP?

TURP is an acronym that stands for transurethral resection of the prostate. Yes, this procedure is done on the prostate gland, so it can only be done on male patients. Really understanding the name, ensures you will have a better understanding of the whole procedure.

Let's break down the name...

Trans means through

Urethra is the portion of anatomy in the urinary tract that connects the bladder to the outside of the body and helps to remove urine

Resection is the removal

Prostate is the gland in the male reproductive system that produces secretions that help make semen.

The prostate gland sits under the bladder and the urethra runs through it. Because of this, many surgeons choose to go through the urethra to gain access to the prostate. I like to think of the prostate gland as one of those small white donuts that you can buy in a pack of six from vending machines. If you put a drinking straw through the hole, this mimics what the prostate and urethra look like.

Why the Need for a TURP?

Male patients might need this procedure for several reasons. Most of the reasons are due to the patient having an enlarged prostate. Having an enlarged prostate leads to symptoms such as difficulty urinating, urinating more frequently, an intense urge to urinate even after already urinating, and dribbling uncontrollably throughout the day.

The prostate could be enlarged due to:

Prostate cancer

BPH, which stands for benign prostatic hyperplasia. This is a fancy way of saying an enlarged prostate that is non-cancerous.

Prostatitis, which is inflammation of the prostate

Prostatalgia, which is pain in the prostate gland