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Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP)


This is the time-tested way to remove prostate tissue if you have symptoms and signs of obstruction to urine flow. It is performed under general or spinal anaesthetic and takes up to one hour.

The procedure involves passing a telescope into the bladder via the urethra, and ‘resecting’ chips of prostate tissue to improve urine flow.

A catheter (soft plastic tube) is inserted in theatre afterwards, to wash the bladder with fluid for 1-2 days afterwards. Once the urine is a clear colour, the catheter is removed, and if you are passing urine well you can go home.

Potential side effects and complications

All procedures have the potential for side effects. Although these complications are well recognised, the majority of patients do not have problems after a procedure.

There are specific risks with this surgical procedure, and these will be discussed with you before your procedure. As a guide, these include:

Common risks

  • Infection in the urine
  • Dry ejaculation
  • A small amount of bleeding
  • Discomfort after the catheter is removed
  • 1 in 10 patients will struggle to get good erections after the procedure
  • 1 in 10 patients will not have improved urine symptoms after the procedure


  • A scar in the urethra requiring another telescope operation
  • Heavy bleeding requiring blood transfusion
  • The need to repeat the operation in the future

Very uncommon

  • Heavy bleeding requiring open surgery and temporary packing of the prostate
  • Incontinence of urine
  • Narrowing of the bladder neck requiring a repeat telescope operation

Other options

There are a number of other options that will be discussed with you, if appropriate to your condition. These include:

  • Doing nothing, just watching your symptoms
  • Treatment with medication rather than surgery
  • Other surgical options for treatment

If you would like more information about this or other procedures, Nick would be pleased to talk to you in more detail.


This information is intended as an educational guide only, and is here to help you as an additional source of information, along with a consultation from your urologist. The information does not apply to all patients.

Not all potential complications are listed, and you must talk to your urologist about the complications specific to your situation.


Urology Affiliations

Contact Us

  • QE Specialist Centre,
    35 Woodville Road
    Woodville South,
    SA 5011
  • Tel: 8244 4105
  • Mobile: 0439 080 899
  • Fax: 8243 2766