Transurethral Resection of the Prostate
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Many of these emails are from those who unfortunately have complications or other unique problems. Yet there are also those who are just concerned and confused by the symptoms of BHP, and/or the TURP post-operation experience. Remember, the vast majority of TURP patients have successful procedures and greatly reduced or even eliminated symptoms. (Messages are in chronological order with the oldest first; oldest messages are purged first. I only add emails if they offer significantly new information.)
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Just thought I would share my experiences since it seems most of the e-mails are negative. I am a 51 year old male who was experiencing a continuing number of bladder infections. After consultation with a urologist was told that my prostate was growing up into the bladder putting pressure on it so my stream was reduced. My doctor said I should have the T.U.R.P. Also had a biopsy to confirm no cancer which it did. It came back cancer free. I had my procedure on the 22nd of May of this year. The catheter was removed on the 2nd day after my surgery and my stream was 100% improved. I went home that day and took the next two weeks off. Some blood in the urine at the beginning of each evacuation but not much for the first few days. Began passing some scabs with some bleeding at those times. It is now June 12 (three weeks since the procedure) and have not seen any blood since saturday. Have not resumed sexual relations yet. My check back appointment is this Thursday, so hope to have an idea then when they can resume.. My only recommendations are to take it easy for a couple of weeks and to drink plenty of water during the day to flush your self out.
I am 59 years old and was told 6 years ago that my prostate was the size of an 80 year old. He wanted to remove the prostate but after reviewing what that meant for my quality of life I decided not to. I went on herbal medication. Saw Palmetto helped a lot.
Two weeks ago I began experiencing difficulty peeing. My wife persuaded me to go to the emergency room. It took almost 2 more hours to see be admitted to the room. The nurse inserted a catheter. I didn't know what to expect and it was very painful. At the same time it relived the pressure. I filled a container with 850 ml of urine. The normal bladder holds about 1/2 of that. They told me that if I had not gone in I would likely have died in about 10 hours from acute renal retention. So much for denial of prostate problems.
I saw a urologist that Tuesday. He scheduled me for a TURP on Monday 7/02/01. The operation was only about an hour. When I came out of it I was beginning to feel some pain. They gave me a little morphine and a percocet tablet. I was okay for about 4 more hours. They took me to my room and as usual for this operation I was on a Foley Catheter. The put about 2 gallons of saline solution through the catheter to flushout the prostate operation debris. This went well until 11:30 PM when the staff changed shifts. They neglected to drain the container that catches the fluid. I began feeling cold on the end of my penis, and a feeling like my bladder was under pressure. it was. Someone finally came and when they drained the bottle they went too fast and caused me to fell a vacuum and some sharp pain. MAKE SURE THE STAFF REGULARLY DRAINS THE CONTAINER!! You can see that drain hose. They drained mine about once/hour. If the drain hose fills call them immediately.
I was allowed to go home the next day. They removed the catheter. This didn't hurt too much. A lot of blood flowed for a few seconds and then stopped. I have been taking it easy and following the doctors instructions. So far I can pee very well (but did get the "burning" sensations). It has been 1 week from the operation. I feel much better. I hope things continue to improve. I am glad I had the TURP instead of any of the newer techniques. I don't know what a laser or microwave would do to other parts of the body. I am on flow max as prescribed by the urologist. I can still see blood when the stream 1st starts. Overall the TURP is a very good operation. If things start to get worse I will write.
I had a TURP 18 months ago. There was a significant stone in my prostate the surgeon said he'd try to remove but couldn't since it was too close to the nerve bundle. Later I developed quite a few more small stones on the resected section and have experienced recurrent infections. Some small stones were removed cystoscopically 9-10 months ago by the urologist who performed the turp. 2 months ago a second urologist accidentally knocked loose some large stones(5mm-10mm) in a cystoscopy followed by a rectal ultrasound of the prostate. After I passed those in the next 3 days I was in heaven because the urine flow was tremendous. Now I fear I have more stones or bits of the original big one blocking the way again since I've got weak stream and frequency again. If I need another turp to go after the stones I'd like to have access to the French 3-D procedure I heard on t.v. was being performed somewhere in California. Its advantage is that the risk to the nerve bundle is greatly reduced. Does anyone know where this procedure is available?
To sort of "balance the books" a little for this webpage, I am offering a positive example of the TURP procedure. I (the author of this web site) had a TURP performed about 3 years ago. I had been suffering from increasingly upsetting and limiting symptoms for over 15 years before deciding to do something about it. I would get up from sleep two to three times per night; I avoided travel where access to a restroom was not always available; and declined social events for the very same reason. It was essentially controlling my life to a greater and greater extent.
My operation was an "out-patient" one, i.e. I was home within an hour after the operation was performed, and I was required to administer the postop recovery procedures and deal with the catheter -- even to removing it myself when the time came.
Yes I was uncomfortable during the recovery period and had all the postop symptoms that the website lists. However, after recovery, I was without any of the prior negative BHP symptoms and after three years none have returned.
My father had the TURP procedure at the advice of his urologist due to frequent urination at night. I'd just like to share an unfortunate consequence that developed in his case so others may avoid the same outcome as he. He developed blood clots in his lower leg below the knee, which were not treated timely and even clot busting medication did not help, resulting in having to have an amputation. If you have this procedure and develop leg pain afterwards INSIST that it be checked out by your doctor or a hospital. Older people may have circulation problems (perhaps unknown to them) that can be exacerbated by having their leg(s) in a stirrup position for a prolonged time. Better to be err on the side of caution. You can print this as it may help someone else avoid this problem. (Oct, 2001)
I had first PSA test last week since my turp operation in Oct 2000 and it turned out an excellent result of only 4. Everything is back to normal, no more dripping after toilet since the operation and my sex life is back to normal again. (Feb 2002)
Hi: I'm scheduled for a TURP on March 14th after fighting continually more restrictive prostrate symtoms. I was pretty sure it wouldn't be a "walk in the park" but after reading so many horror stories ( your's being one of the few positive testimonials) I'm scared to death. I thought the procedure had gotten better and more sophisticated. Now, I'm not sure what to do. It sounds like guys (I'm 58) are condemned to weeks, months and years of torture. Can you offer any more encouragement?
Webmaster answer: Yes, the vast majority of TURP patients have successful and uneventful operations (inc. myself). The variables are: choice of doctor, in or out patient treatment, how well you follow recovery procedures and your general health. Good luck.
Response from Rick: Just had the surgery. Feel like a new man. Should have had it years ago. Thanks. (March 2002)
So far it's been a real good experience. I'm thankful that I had it done and that I'm recovering so quickly. (April 2002)
I am 63, and have a moderately enlarged prostate, along with several stones which have caused me much misery with chronic infections/inflammations for many years. My Uro. has recommended a TURP to correct the enlargement and remove the stones. My questions are: How effective is this surgery in curing chronic prostatitis by removing the stones? On a scale of 1-10, how painful is it each time you urinate, and for how many days or weeks does this painful urination last?
Finally, has anyone developed any major hospital staff infections from the procedure? I guess these are my chief concerns outside of not being able to urinate at all after the catheter is removed, which I understand can happen. Would appreciate comments from anyone on these items and/or advice.
Thanks for your
Hello to fellow sufferers -
My urologist has been recommending a TURP for the past three years, but I have been hesitant. My PSA is under 10 and two biopsys have been negative. (BTW, I'm soon to be 69). I have found that the saw palmetto and cardura (prescribed somewhat reluctantly by my urologist) have helped. I'll never forget when I first noticed a problem. One morning I got up, went to the bathroom, and NO stream. Panic! After a few minutes and considerable straining, I was able to release a weak stream. From that time on, it has been every 6 months to my urologist, PSA test, and the infamous "digital exam" - You ex-GI's know it as "bend over and grab your sox". But one suggestion that I have to everyone who has this problem - when you go to the bathroom, Take Your Time! I make a game out of it. How long can I keep a weak stream going. When I concentrate on prolonging it instead of "I have to hurry back to work" and squeeze it off, I find that I can go longer between trips - sometimes all night without having to void. My personal feeling is that if 85 percent have good luck with the TURP, that leaves 15 percent with problems. That's the same odds you get with Russian Roulette. I don't mean to sound flippant, but after all, it is My (and Your) decision as to how you might have to spend the rest of your life. As a disclaimer, I am NOT in any way a health professional. Just a retired electrical engineer turned banjo player. Best wishes to all.
(Update): Hello to all: I had my T.U.R.P. 10 days ago, and I can't believe how well it went! I had almost complete blockage and had to wear a catheter for the past three months, which took some getting used to. The reason for the delay in surgery was the fact that my bladder was so enlarged, my doctor wanted to allow it time to recover. It was my fault that I waited so long to have something done. I think, like a lot of guys, I was just afraid of the potential side effects. After the surgery, I had virtually no pain, and after 4 days the catheter was removed and I have been voiding like the proverbial race horse since ;-) I echo what was said on an earlier post -- find a urologist whom you trust and who has a lot of experience with TURP. BTW, I will be 70 in three weeks, and I'm looking forward to a summer full of activities that I haven't enjoyed for several months. Good luck to all,
(Update from Charlie from Sept. 2002): Hello to all -- This is a follow-up to my previous posts. I had TURP the first of April, 2002 and was very pleased with the results. However starting in June, I began to see a decrease in my urine flow. My urologist ordered a uroflow test and determined that there appeared to be some blockage, probably due to scar tissue. I was scoped and it confirmed that I had scar tissue in the urethera at the bladder opening. I am now scheduled for a "minor" procedure in October during which the the doctor will remove some of the scar tissue. It will be much a much shorter procedure than the TURP, and will have much less recovery time. He told me that about one out of 100 TURP patients have this problem. Has anyone else on this page had this condition? BTW I am 70 years old and fairly active. My one other complaint to the doctor is that I now have erectile disfunction. Would anyone else out there care to comment?? Thanks for reading.
Just had TURP proceedure 10 days ago and wanted to share a positive result. I am 48 years old, and [was] told that I am way to young to have these problems. However, with a PSA reading of over 8, 2 biopsies , a cystoscope proceedure, a very enlarged prostate, 3 trips to the emergency room with a urinary tract blockage, and very many trips throughout the day to the restroom, it was time. I had my surgery performed in New York, at The Sound Shore Medical Center, by my urologist Dr. Larry Roberts of New Rochelle on Wednesday April 24. The surgery took almost 2 hours, and I was in no pain before, during, or after the surgery. The catheter was left in for one day after the surgery to help cleans and drain the prostate. It was removed early Friday morning by Dr. Roberts, and I have been urinating with no hesitation since. The first 2 or 3 hours after the catheter was removed, I urinated quite frequently, since I was drinking an awful lot of juices and water, and also, I needed to regain some control over my bladder. From Saturday however, my control has been excellent, my urges to urinate are far and few between, and through all this no pain, not too much blood during urination, and my control is almost excellent. I actually went to the Yankee game this past Sunday (10 days after surgery), and I did not have to get up once to go to the men's room. I have even slept 2 or 3 nights straight through without having to get up to relieve myself (Oh what a feeling!) The only minor problem is if I cough or laugh too hard, and there is some urine in my bladder, a drop or two comes out since I guess I am not completely healed. However, I am assured this should stop in the next week or so.
But I must tell you what a pleasure it is, not to have to plan my day around where bathrooms are. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write. (May 2002)
This is June 14, 02 and just wanted to share my TURP experience, since your site has helped me out greatly... On June 4, 02 I was TURPed at the Cleveland Clinic after about 4 mos. of my creatine level starting to rise. I had no pain or discomfort which surprised my doctor... I was still peeing but one day it just stopped and I had to have the urologist put a catheter in me which I retained for 7 weeks. After one day in the hospital they took the catheter out [and] I peed 600cc -- mostly blood. They said that was no good and 1 hour later I peed again which was pink and they said that was o.k. and let me go home.
Since being home I have not had any blood in my urine and I drink lots of water and juices. It is still difficult for me to begin a stream and usually have a bowel movement with it.... but when it starts, its pretty good, and one night I filled three 8oz. glasses. But usually its between 4 to 8oz. I know it sounds stupid to keep track of your urine, but I read somewhere you should expel approx. 2 quarts a day, depending on the amount you drink, naturally. My doctor was concerned about me peeing even after the operation because he said I had a large bladder even tho he said the lining looked good. He didn't tell me if it was naturally large or if it got that way by not peeing. I was always able to hold my urine, even when I was in high school. The only problem is straining to pee, I hope that gets better. I am 62 yrs. old and my first follow-up with him is July 8. Please print this letter maybe it will help some one, your site has sure helped me.
Hi, had a turp on May 6th 02. Have been leaking since then. On the third week I started to pee blood, had to go to E.R. for a catheter. The next day began bleeding outside the catheter -- back to E.R. for serious blood clot removal. Had a second surgical procedure to seal leaking blood vessels. It is now about six weeks after the first surgery and I have resumed my normal routine, exercise, sex, work and so on. However, I have to wear an adult diaper because of the leaking. If any one has had a similar experince or has ideas on what might help, short of buying adult diaper stock. I would be glad to hear from them
My name is Bernie, I had the T.U.R.P. surgery August 6, 2002. My surgery started at 10:30 A.M. and was out of the hospital the next day at 2:30 in the afternoon. I know this is early in the process but I want to thank all the guys who shared their experience. It was fantastic. It made it easier for me to have that knowledge before hand, because without it, I wouldn't have known about the difficulty in urinating, standing on my tiptoes really helped. Being aware of the blood and the clots eased my mind a lot. I am almost 70 years old and this was my first surgery so you guys did me a great service. (August 2002)
I was amazed to read the many e-mails about problems folks are having after TURP. I've got my own horror story but was under the impression that complications are rare. I'm 65 years old and after having symptoms of an enlarged prostate for as many as ten years, my primary care physician finally recommended I see a urologist. The guy he recommended was young (the first mistake!) and he performed a TURP in may 2001 using what he called a vaporization procedure. The initial recovery was good, but I continued to show blood in my urine as much as a half a year later. Finally another cystoscopy revealed that I had a number of stones attached to the resected prostate tissue. These were removed by the same urologist in Feb. 2002.
After that we left Rochester, N.Y. for our winter place in South Carolina where the bleeding recurred almost immediately. X-rays and ultrasound revealed more stones and a blocked uriter (the duct from the kidney to the bladder) It seems that insufficient prostate tissue had been removed during the "vaporization" TURP. The S.C. urologist (an older more experienced one) said the stones were the result of my inability to void completely, causing the retained urine to concentrate and to precipitate stones. He did another TURP (May 2002) and, again the initial recovery was good - excellent stream, up once a night only, no leakage etc, etc. BUT, six weeks after this TURP I started bleeding again. This time the amount of blood was scary. Almost any physical activity could bring it on. Yet another urologist - we were now back in Rochester - attempted to cauterize the large resected area in a procedure very much like yet another TURP. It hasn't worked. The least amount of lifting or activity still results in bleeding, usually six or more hours later. It will then clear up until the next time I forget and maybe pick up my 2 year old grandson or something even lighter.
If there is anyone out there with advice, I'm getting a little desperate! You may post my e-mail and I hope to get some response. (September 2002)
I appreciate your public service. Here's my story, positive one so far. I'm 47, have had 'prostate problems' since my 20's. Graduated to Urine Retention issues with problem symptoms in my 40s. I went through Caduraand Flomax and finally decided to get it fixed. I had my Turp 4 days ago. I had a spinal and watched the job, stayed in the hospital one nite. If you want to do that, do what I did and get them to give you Valium first. They used a balloon catheter with traction pulling downward to faciliate healing and it hurt a fair amount. I found the morphine didn't work as well as the vicodin. Cath came out in the morning and I went home. It took awhile to get the pee going, I was a little freaked out because it hurt alot, they gave me some atavan to cool me out. First few days at home sucked, kinda leaky, kinda bloody. Now at day four its all getting better. Guys, if you have this problem and you are a candidate for surgery I'd say do it if you can. The more you wait the more you compromise your whole urinary system.(March 2003)
It is my pleasure to contribute my experience to this website which has been my guide through the TURP experience. My doctor initially did not inform me of the severity of the TURP operation on my system nor the difficulties and length of full recovery. I am thankful for the realistic information this website provided.
First I want to comment that despite the difficulties of the TURP procedure, I am very pleased with the outcome and would urge any candidate for surgery to do it. Now 10 weeks later, the urgencies, nocturnal urinating, etc. have largely disappeared. I know I will be happier as time goes by as explained below.
I am 67 years old and had my TURP operation on Monday, June 9, staying two nights in the hospital on the advice of my physician. I urge you to do the same. The balloon catheter can be very uncomfortable, painful and messy. Why hassle it? That first afternoon I had to be irrigated because of the pain. They gave morphine in an IV but after a few hours found that Tylenol with Codeine by mouth worked better. A sleeping pill gave me reasonable night's sleep. About 7 am Wednesday morning the catheter was removed, and after drinking cranberry juice and a large container of coffee, I gushed urine (to my surprise) and went home.
The first two weeks of recovery were difficult For the first three days, I had to take Pyridum to relieve pain and burning in urinating. The pain, frequencies and spasms diminished slowly and although I did return to work after two weeks, I still had considerable discomfort. Even into the third week I curtailed business activity. While bloody urine dissipated, I still passed clots or scabs for many weeks. Before my surgery my physician said that I would be OK to go on a planned vacation 4-weeks from operation date. Now that I know the difficulties, I would have postponed the vacation. And I suggest you wear "adult diapers" until you can completely control your urinating system.
Today, 10 weeks later, I am perhaps 95% recovered, have been back for weeks on my regular schedule, including sex (which I believe has greatly improved).
However, I was not prepared, except for the advice from this website, for the physical toll of the TURP operation. I didn't realize that I was making a major commitment and that it would disrupt my life for many weeks.
I fully agree with Mr. Fife's comments on his "Frequently Asked Questions Page." Full recovery can take up to a year.. Confronting my doctor, a week after surgery, he even admitted that surges would not fully disappear for perhaps six months. So be prepared, be realistic and good luck!(August 2003)
I am 51 and had a TURP op in July 2003. There were some complications due to my having Prostatitus which had gone undetected. This resulted in excessive bleeding, I needed two blood transfusions. Straight away after the catheter was removed my flow was terrific, a great relief. A month later however, I was unhappy that I still had a nasty urgency problem that was not there before. I was advised to do pelvic floor exercises and this sorted it out. It seems that these "pulling up" exercises are very important, although I had not been told to do this. Now four months later everything is perfect. My recovery took longer than I expected but it has been complete. It is great to be able to lead a normal life again.(Dec 2003)
I STRONGLY suggest that anyone who needs a TURP consider a "Greenlight PVP" instead. It is a new laser approach to remove the offending prostate material. The PVP has similiar clinical endpoints, or results, but with less morbidity. Many patients go home the same day without a catheter. The recovery period is shorter. The procedure is FDA approved and Medicare covered. More than 11,000 PVP's will be provided in 2003. All Urologic communities may not have endorsed PVP yet and some insurance may not yet provide coverage, but fight for it.
I investigated both. To me there was only one choice - the PVP. (Dec 2003)
a: Ease in starting and finishing urination.
b: All discomfort gone
c: Once in a while (not daily) he may lose one drop of urine when coughing or sneezing.He no longer takes any prostate medications.