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An unfortunate truth about aging is that our bodies will continue to decline and decline at an alarming pace. Conditions will become more common as we age and even simple activities like going to the bathroom or routine bowel movements will become more challenging. One of the common conditions that most male patients suffer from resides in their prostate. This small organ is hardly bigger than the size of a grape when we are younger, and it is simply responsible for making sure the sperm men produce are effective and well-nourished. As we age, however, the decline in testosterone levels can cause our prostates to enlarge naturally, and this results in a condition called benign prostate hypertrophy (BPH). 

Most patents can live with BPH without interventions, and the only symptoms that will be evident are that patients have more frequent trips to the bathroom. Because of the increase in the size of the prostate, urine will not be able to flow from the bladder to the urethras as easily, so patients often complain of having difficulty starting and maintaining their urine stream. If this problem becomes too advanced where patients are unable to urinate at all, interventions will be necessary. 

Although there are medications and other interventions that people can try, one of the most effective methods would be just to remove the prostate entirely, which is done with a procedure referred to as transurethral resection of the prostates (TURP). Men are receptive to this therapy because they no longer desire to have children, in most cases, once they reach the age of 60 to 70 when BPH starts to become symptomatic in most patients. Transurethral resection of the prostates (TURP) is considered to be one of the fastest and most efficient ways at relieving urine obstructions and studies indicate that nearly 90 percent of patients report complete resolution of symptoms after this operation. [1]

We know that this is an effective therapy but what does the recovery time look like for patients once this decision is made? It is understandable that patients ask this question considering it is not exactly a noninvasive surgery. In most cases, patients that had TURP intervention will require a hospital stay of at least 2 days in order to make sure that there are no infectious after the operation. Most patients will be able to return home within 5 days. 

In the world of urology, TURP is a procedure that may not be used in the near future even if it is considered to be the gold-standard now. With robotic and laser operations becoming more and more popular, this intervention takes much longer than newer interventions. Even if this may be the case, TURP is still a very attractive surgery because of the low-cost and high-effectiveness of this procedure. 

Studies indicate that patients only have urinary incontinence in 1 percent  of cases after TURP therapy and the same percentage of the decline of sexual function was seen in these patients compared to patients not having the surgery, meaning that there was no greater increased risk in this group. 

Even though it is considered to be the gold standard, it does not come without risks that patients may experience. With TURP, patients have reported:

  • difficulty voiding 5 percent of the time, 
  • urinary tract infections 4 percent of the time  and  
  • abnormal bleeding 2 percent of the time right after the surgery. 

In most cases, symptoms resolved as time passes since the operation. [2]

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