What you can expect

TURP generally takes 60 to 90 minutes. Before surgery you'll be given either general anesthesia — which means you'll be unconscious during the procedure — or spinal anesthesia, which means you'll remain conscious. You might also have a dose of antibiotics to prevent infection.

During the procedure

The resectoscope is inserted into the tip of your penis and extended through your urethra and into the prostate area. Your doctor won't need to make any cuts (incisions) on the outside of your body.

Your doctor will use the resectoscope to trim tissue from the inside of your prostate gland, one small piece at a time. As small pieces of tissue are cut from inside your prostate, irrigating fluid carries them into your bladder. They're removed at the end of the operation.

After the procedure

You'll likely stay in the hospital for one to two days.

You'll have a urinary catheter in place because of swelling that blocks urine flow. The catheter is generally left in place for at least 24 to 48 hours, until swelling declines and you're able to urinate on your own.

You might also notice:

  • Blood in your urine. It's normal to see blood right after surgery. But contact your doctor if the blood in your urine is thick like ketchup, bleeding appears to be worsening or your urine flow is blocked. Blood clots can block urine flow.
  • Irritating urinary symptoms. Urination might be painful, or you might have a sense of urgency or frequent need to urinate. Painful urination generally improves in six to eight weeks.

Your doctor is likely to recommend that you:

  • Drink plenty of water to flush out the bladder.
  • Eat high-fiber foods, to avoid constipation and straining during a bowel movement. Your doctor also might recommend a stool softener.
  • Wait to resume taking any blood-thinning medications until your doctor says it's OK.
  • Avoid strenuous activity, such as heavy lifting, for four to six weeks or until your doctor says it's OK.
  • Hold off on sex for four to six weeks.
  • Avoid driving until your catheter is removed and you're no longer taking prescription pain medications.

Contact your doctor if you:

  • Are unable to urinate
  • Notice bright red blood or an increase in clots in your urine that doesn't become clear after drinking more fluid and resting for 24 hours
  • Develop a fever above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit