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Transurethral Prostatectomy


  • A transurethral prostatectomy is surgery that is done to remove part or all of your prostate gland. This surgery is also called transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). TURP surgery treats benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). BPH is a condition where the prostate gland grows too large. The prostate is a male sex gland that helps make fluid in semen (sperm). The prostate surrounds part of the urethra. Urine is stored in the bladder, and travels from there to the outside of your body through the urethra.
    Picture of male reproductive system
  • A large prostate gland can press on your urethra, causing trouble when you urinate and urinary tract infections. The urinary tract is made up of your kidneys, bladder, and urethra. After TURP, problems such as having to urinate urgently and often, and having blood in your urine may go away. You may get fewer urinary tract infections after surgery. TURP surgery may stop your prostate from growing larger. This can help prevent serious medical problems that may be caused by a large prostate gland.


Take your medicine as directed:

Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered by your primary healthcare provider. Do not stop taking your medicine unless directed by your primary healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another illness.
  • Pain medicine: You may need medicine to take away or decrease pain.
    • Learn how to take your medicine. Ask what medicine and how much you should take. Be sure you know how, when, and how often to take it.
    • Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease.
    • Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling someone when you get out of bed or if you need help.

Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.

  • Your caregiver will check for signs of a urinary tract infection. A caregiver will remove your Foley catheter if you no longer need it in place.

Activity guidelines:

Ask your caregiver when you can return to work and other activities. Ask your caregiver when it is okay to have sexual intercourse (sex). Your caregiver may want you to do pelvic floor exercises. Your pelvic floor is the area between your pelvic (hip) bones. Ask your caregiver for more information about pelvic floor exercises.

Foley catheter:

  • A Foley catheter is a tube put into your bladder to drain your urine into a bag. The bladder is an organ where urine is kept. Keep the bag of urine well below your waist. Lifting the urine bag higher will make the urine flow back into your bladder, which can cause an infection. Avoid pulling on the catheter, because this may cause pain and bleeding, and the catheter may come out. Do not allow the catheter tubing to kink, because this will block the flow of urine. Ask caregivers for more information about how to care for yourself when you have a Foley catheter in place.
  • When the catheter is removed, you may feel like you have to urinate more often than usual. You may leak or dribble urine. This problem may go away with time.


  • You have a fever.
  • You have new or more blood in your urine.
  • You have trouble starting to urinate, or have a weak stream of urine when you urinate.
  • You feel like you have a full bladder, even after you urinate. You may also leak urine.
  • You often wake up during the night to urinate. You may also feel the need to urinate right away.
  • You feel pain and burning when you urinate.
  • You feel pain or pressure in your lower abdomen (stomach).
  • Your urine looks cloudy, and smells bad.
  • You have trouble getting an erection (hard penis) or ejaculating.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition, surgery, or care.


  • You urinate little or not at all.
  • You have severe (very bad) stomach or back pain.
  • You have one or more of the following signs or symptoms:
    • Confusion.
    • Dizziness.
    • Stomach pain, nausea and vomiting.
    • Slower heartbeat than usual.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Transurethral Prostatectomy (Aftercare Instructions)

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.