General risks of surgery 

The general risks of surgery include: 

  • Anesthesia reaction, such as an allergic reaction and problems with breathing 
  • Bleeding, which can lead to shock
  • Blood clots, in particular a deep vein thrombosis that develops in the leg or pelvis. A blood clot can travel to your lungs, heart or brain and cause a pulmonary embolism, heart attack, or stroke.
  • Infection and septicemia, which is the spread of a local infection to the blood

Potential complications of TURP

Complications of TURP include:

  • Abnormal flow of semen into the bladder instead of out the urethra (retrograde ejaculation)
  • Damage to nearby organs and tissues including the urethra, bladder or rectum
  • Damage to tissue around the prostate due to buildup of fluid (transurethral resection syndrome or TUR syndrome)
  • Impotence, which is problems having or keeping an erection
  • Infertility
  • Scar tissue on the urethra, which could tighten the urethra and cause a urethral narrowing, or stricture, making it difficult to urinate
  • Urinary or bowel incontinence

Reducing your risk of complications

You can reduce the risk of certain complications by following your treatment plan and:

  • Following activity, dietary and lifestyle restrictions and recommendations before surgery and during recovery 
  • Notifying your doctor immediately of any concerns, such as bleeding, bloody urine, fever, increase in pain, or decreased urination
  • Seeing your doctor as instructed before and after surgery
  • Taking your medications exactly as directed
  • Telling all members of your care team if you have any allergies

How do I prepare for my TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate)? 

You are an important member of your own healthcare team. The steps you take before surgery can improve your comfort and outcome.

You can prepare for TURP by:

  • Answering all questions about your medical history and medications. This includes prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, herbal treatments, and vitamins. It is a good idea to carry a current list of your medical conditions, medications, and allergies at all times.
  • Getting preoperative testing as directed. Testing will vary depending on your age, health, and specific procedure. Preoperative testing may include a chest X-ray, EKG (electrocardiogram), blood tests, and other tests as needed.
  • Losing excess weight before the surgery through a healthy diet and exercise plan
  • Not eating or drinking before surgery as directed. Your surgery may be cancelled if you eat or drink too close to the start of surgery because you can choke on stomach contents during anesthesia.
  • Stopping smoking as soon as possible. Even quitting for just a few days can be beneficial and help the healing process.
  • Taking or stopping medications exactly as directed. This may include not taking aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and blood thinners. 

Questions to ask your doctor

Facing surgery can be stressful. It is common for patients to forget some of their questions during a doctor’s office visit. You may also think of other questions after your appointment. Contact your doctor with concerns and questions before surgery and between appointments.

It is also a good idea to bring a list of questions to your appointments. Questions can include:

  • Why do I need a TURP procedure? Are there any other options for treating my condition?
  • How long will the surgery take? When can I go home?
  • What restrictions will I have after the surgery? When can I return to work and other activities?
  • How long should I wait to have sex after the surgery?
  • What assistance will I need at home?
  • How long will I need to have a urinary catheter after the surgery?
  • What medications will I need before and after the surgery? How should I take my medications?
  • How will you treat my pain?
  • When should I follow up with you?
  • How should I contact you? Ask for numbers to call during and after regular hours.

What can I expect after my TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate)?

Knowing what to expect can help make your road to recovery after TURP as smooth as possible. 

How long will it take to recover?