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Surgical procedures performed by an experienced urologist seek to open a passage through the prostate to allow urine to flow with less effort. Many procedures are called “transurethral” because instruments are passed through the opening at the tip of the penis and into the urethra.

Surgery to treat BPH is often reserved for men with severe symptoms such as:
  • Not being able to urinate or very limited urination
  • Having a partial urethral blockage causing recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) or bladder damage
  • Kidney damage and hematuria (blood in urine)

Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP)

In this surgical procedure, obstructing prostate tissue is removed using an instrument called a resectoscope, which is inserted through the urethra. Using the resectoscope, your doctor can remove the prostate tissue that is blocking the flow of urine.  This technique is effective at resolving urinary symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate.

Transurethral vaporization of the prostate (TUVP), which is similar to TURP, utilizes the direct application of intense heat generated from an electrode (VaporTrode®) that is attached to the end of a resectoscope to destroy the obstructive prostate tissue while also cauterizing the surrounding blood vessels, resulting in less blood loss than TURP.

Side Effects of TURP and TUVP May Include:
  • Clots
  • Retrograde ejaculation (semen released through ejaculation goes into the bladder rather than out of the penis, which can inhibit fertility); reduction in semen emission/dry orgasm
  • Erectile dysfunction, which is a less common side effect
  • Mild hematuria
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Temporary difficulty urinating, which usually resolves a few days after the procedure

Suprapubic Prostatectomy

Reserved for extremely large prostate glands, this is an open surgical procedure to remove the obstructing prostate. This surgical procedure is rarely performed by urologists anymore.

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