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What is TURP surgery?

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Transurethral resection of the prostate, or TURP, is a surgical procedure done to relieve certain urinary symptoms caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia, an enlarged prostate. According to Mayo Clinic, the surgery is performed by inserting a resectoscope through the opening of the penis and into the urethra until it reaches the prostate. At this time, the surgeon cuts away excess prostate tissue.

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TURP is used to reduce enlarged prostate symptoms such as the frequent need to urinate, prolonged urination, increased urination at night, difficulty initiating urination and urinary tract infections. Mayo Clinic adds that the surgery may also be used to treat complications resulting from a urinary flow blockage such as bladder stones, bladder damage, urinary incontinence and recurring blood in the urine.

Although TURP is the most common treatment option for an enlarged prostate, the procedure is associated with several risks. These include urinary tract infections, dry ejaculations, erectile dysfunction, low sodium in the blood and long-term urinary incontinence. In rare cases, large amounts of blood are lost during the procedure and the patient must have a blood transfusion, notes Mayo Clinic. Some patients must also undergo follow-up procedures if the surgery does not improve symptoms, symptoms return over time or the treatment causes narrowing of the urethra.

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