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TURP is a Traditional Treatment for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, But It May Not Be the Most Effective Option for Some

Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is the most common surgical procedure performed on men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). TURP is performed by inserting a scope into the urethra and cutting portions of the prostate into small pieces to remove it. This helps eliminate the pressure that the enlarged prostate puts on the urethra, thereby relieving many of the symptoms of BPH, which include difficulty urinating and the frequent and urgent need to urinate.

Although TURP is effective at relieving symptoms of BPH, it is not an appropriate treatment option for everyone, including men who are older or have certain health problems. Additionally, this surgery can sometimes cause temporary or long-lasting complications, including:

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Bleeding
  • Bladder incontinence

Prostatic arterial embolization (PAE) is an alternative to TURP that is better suited for men with a significantly enlarged prostate or a prostate size that is considered higher risk for TURP. To provide relief from an enlarged prostate, PAE involves threading a catheter through the radial artery in the wrist and depositing small beads into the blood vessels that serve the prostate. The decreased blood flow causes the prostate to shrink, taking pressure off of the urethra. Because this surgery does not involve removal of the prostate, it is less invasive than TURP and significantly reduces the side effects typically associated with the prostate surgery. Moreover, PAE is performed as an outpatient procedure under light sedation and requires less than six hours in the hospital.

If you have been diagnosed with BPH and are seeking an alternative to TURP, you can begin the process of being evaluated for PAE candidacy at Tampa General Hospital by filling out our online form or contacting our PAE program coordinator at (813) 539-5995. We will provide a comprehensive screening to assess your condition as well as your overall physical health to determine if PAE is right for you.