TURP (Transurethral Resection of the Prostate)

Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is a procedure that involves the surgical removal of a section of an enlarged prostate gland, using high energy electric current. TURP uses asurgical instrument called aresectoscope (thin metal tubewithlight source, camera and cutting tool) to excise the prostate tissue. There are two types of TURP: monopolar TURP and bipolar TURP.

Monopolar TURP

Monopolar TURP uses a cutting tool, heated with electric current that flows in one direction through the resectoscope to remove the prostatic tissue. To avoid the travel of stray energy across the body, a fluid (free of electrolytes) is used to irrigate the bladder. However, long exposures with the fluid may damage the neighbouring tissues and cause transurethral resection (TUR) syndrome, a condition characterized by fluid build-up in the blood.

Bipolar TURP

In bipolar TURP, the electrical current is contained within the resectoscope and concentrated at the site of resection of the prostatic tissue. It returns back through the second limb of the resectoscope. This prevents energy from getting dispersed throughout the body. Normal saline (salt water with electrolytes) is used to flush the excised region. This prevents the formation of TUR syndrome. Bipolar TURP is said to cause less bleeding at the site of excision of prostatic tissue.