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Recovery

Following a transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), you may need to recover in hospital for1 to 3 days before you can go home.

While in hospital, you may be given fluids directly into a vein (intravenously) until you've recovered from the anaesthetic and are able to eat and drink.

You shouldn't experience any severe pain, but there may be some discomfort and bladder spasms (contractions) from the catheter, which is left in place because your urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body) will be swollen and sore.

Before you're discharged, you'll be given advice about your recovery. A follow-up appointment to check your progress should be made for a few weeks later.

You won't be able to pee normally at first because your urethra will be swollen.

The catheter used to flush out your bladder during the operation will be left in place for a while to allow you to pee until the swelling goes down.

During the day after the operation, water may be pumped through the catheter to clean your bladder and get rid of any blood clots and other debris.

This usually is not painful, but may make your bladder feel uncomfortably full.

The catheter may be removed to check if you can pee before going home.

It's normal to find peeing uncomfortable and difficult to control for at least a few days after the catheter is removed.

If you still cannot pee, a catheter may need to be put back in.

You'll be able to go home with the catheter still in place, and an appointment will be made to remove it a few days or weeks later. 

See living with a urinary catheter for information about looking after your catheter.

It's common to feel tired and under the weather for a week or two after having a TURP. Most men are up and about after 3 to 4 weeks recovery.

For the first 3 to 4 weeks, you shouldn't lift or move any heavy objects (including shopping) or do any strenuous exercise. If possible, ask friends or family members if they can help around the house.

Once you feel able, gentle exercise such as walking will help keep your blood circulating and lower your risk of getting a blood clot in your legs.

Drinking plenty of water while you're recovering may help reduce the risk of getting a urinary tract infection (UTI) and can help clear any blood from your pee.

You may also be advised to do some pelvic floor exercises to help improve your bladder control.

Any pain can usually be treated by taking over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.

It usually takes between 3 and 4 weeks to fully recover from a TURP. Your surgeon or GP will advise you about when it's safe to return to your normal activities.

Work

When you can return to work will largely depend on your job. For example, someone who works in an office may be able to return to work sooner than someone who does heavy manual work.

In most cases, you'll be advised to take around 3 or 4 weeks off work.

Driving

Ask your surgeon or GP for advice on when it's safe for you to drive again.

You should also speak to your insurer before driving again after having surgery.

Having sex

It will probably be around 3 or 4 weeks after your operation before you feel comfortable enough to have sex.

After having a TURP, it's normal to occasionally notice some blood in your urine. Around a week or two after the operation, the amount of blood may increase as the scab on your prostate falls off.

Drinking plenty of fluids will help flush any blood or small blood clots out of your bladder.

While you're recovering, you should contact a GP immediately or call 111 if:

  • you have a high temperature
  • you have severe pain when peeing
  • you cannot pee
  • there's a lot of blood in your pee or this gets worse
  • there are blood clots in your pee

These symptoms can be a sign of a problem, such as internal bleeding or a urinary infection, that needs to be treated.