Complications and recovery after turp

Updated February 21, 2017

Transurethral resection of the prostate or TURP is a surgical procedure for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH. BPH occurs when an overgrowth of non-cancerous cells develop in the prostate and obstruct the urethra. BPH symptoms are not life threatening but can rob the patient of quality of life. Men diagnosed with BPH voluntarily elect to have TURP surgery to counteract the inability to urinate, blood loss through urine, possible kidney damage and stones in the bladder. Complications of TURP are acceptable alternatives to BPH symptoms.

Expect to experience a phenomena known as retrograde ejaculation after TURP surgery. Retrograde ejaculation is an ejaculation into the bladder instead of out of the urethra cavity. It does not cause impotence but prevents the ability to father children. Sperm is eliminated with urine.

Exercise various, medically advised options to achieve an erection after undergoing transurethral resection of the prostate. Men who did not have impotence before the procedure may notice difficulty obtaining and maintaining an erection afterwards.

Expect to experience the loss of the ability to control your urine flow. This is referred to medically as incontinence. The level of incontinence experienced can vary from patient to patient with some men experiencing small leaks of urine while others cannot lose all bladder control. After your catheter is removed, your doctor may recommend adult diapers.

Expect to experience urinary urgency. This phenomena differs from incontinence when you cannot hold your bladder. With urinary urgency, you may experience the need to urinate more frequently instead.

Expect post-surgical discomfort caused by narrowing of the urethra and/or the neck of your bladder. Specifically, narrowing may cause pain upon urination.

Educate yourself about TURP syndrome. Although it only occurs in about two per cent of patients, it is characterised by nausea, high blood pressure, slowed heartbeat and mental confusion. TURP syndrome occurs when the body absorbs too much of the water that is used to cleanse the prostate area during surgery. The syndrome is a temporary surgical complication lasting about six hours at most and is treated with a diuretic.

Avoid heavy lifting, driving, operating machinery or making sudden movements to encourage a smooth post-operative recovery. Prevent constipation and urinary tract infections by drinking plenty of water and eating foods high in fibre.


Do not be alarmed if you see streaks of blood in your urine after TURP surgery. The procedure leaves scabs inside of the bladder which may peel away during the healing process allowing blood to escape. With bed rest and enough fluid consumption, the bleeding should decrease.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Sarah McLeod began writing professionally for the federal government In 1999. In 2002 she was trained by Georgetown University's Oncology Chief to abstract medical records and has since contributed to Phase I through Phase IV research around the country. McLeod holds a Bachelor of Arts in human services from George Washington University and a Master of Science in health science from Touro University.