This surgery involves removing part or all of the prostate gland using a thin tool that is inserted into the urethra.
The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system. Along with other smaller glands, it produces fluid (also known as semen) that carries sperm and provides them with nutrition.
A prostate biopsy is needed to determine whether prostate enlargement is due to cancer. BPH is not considered a risk factor for prostate cancer. However, it can cause an elevated level of PSA, which is used to screen for prostate cancer.
A transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is the removal of part or all of the prostate gland using a thin tool called a resectoscope. The resectoscope is inserted into the opening at the end of the penis. It allows your doctor to see the prostate tissue that is blocking the flow of urine. The tool can then be used to cut away the prostate tissue.
There are other less invasive methods of destroying small amounts of prostate tissue. Some of these can be done in a physician office as an alternative to a TURP. Although they may help relieve symptoms of BPH, the procedures are not appropriate for all men with BPH.
BPH is due to a noncancerous (benign) growth of the prostate gland. It is very common in men over the age of 50, and its occurrence increases with age.
There may be no symptoms in the early stages of an enlarged prostate. Some of the symptoms that can develop as the prostate enlarges include:
The American Urological Association (AUA) developed the American Urological Association Symptom Score Questionnaire. The questionnaire scores a man's symptoms in order to evaluate their severity. The score can be used to determine the best treatment option and evaluate the response to treatment.
BPH progresses slowly and remains stable in many men. Therefore, your healthcare provider may elect to monitor your symptoms rather than recommend a specific form of treatment, such as medications or surgery.
Men with BPH should usually avoid taking decongestants (such as pseudoephedrine), antihistamines (such as diphenhydramine) or any medications that contain a decongestant or antihistamine. Other medications may also make symptoms of BPH worse, so tell your doctor or pharmacist about your BPH before taking prescription or over-the-counter medications.
If you have been diagnosed with BPH, your healthcare provider may recommend a TURP if you have moderate to severe symptoms that are not well controlled with self-care and medication OR you have:
If your healthcare provider recommends a TURP, or other minimally invasive surgery, prior to the surgery you should tell them about any medications you are taking (including over-the-counter medications and supplements). You should also ask about specific instructions you should follow before and after the surgery. These include:
If you are a smoker, you should quit smoking, as it can interfere with your recovery.
During your surgery, you will receive anesthesia to keep you comfortable and pain free. General anesthesia is the most common type of anesthesia for a TURP. With this type of anesthesia, you are put into a deep sleep and are unable to see, hear or feel anything.
After discharge, you may need pain medication and help at home while you recover.
Contact your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of BPH. Be prepared to discuss your symptoms and how long you have had them.
What should I ask my healthcare provider before having prostate surgery?
Do not forget to arrange for transportation to and from the facility and for help at home.
Before you go home, make sure you understand all home care instructions (including medications and side effects), what symptoms you should report to your healthcare provider after discharge and follow-up plans. Your surgeon should also communicate with your primary care physician.
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