Surgery for BPH

Surgery For BPH

Surgery is generally considered when symptoms have not improved with another non-surgical BPH treatment. Surgical procedures typically remove large amounts of prostate tissue and are performed in a hospital or surgical center.  These operations are done under anesthesia and most patients will spend 1-2 nights in the hospital. You will have to wear a catheter for some time while you heal, and then it can be removed. Typically, the patient can expect a four to six week recovery period where they need to maintain reduced physical activity.

The most commonly performed surgical option is a Transurethral Resection of the Prostate.  This involves the insertion of a small rigid metal instrument through the urethra to cut away the enlarged prostate tissue.  Another alternative surgical procedure uses a laser to ablate prostatic tissue in much the same manner. Surgery is typically successful in resolving the patient’s BPH symptoms, but unfortunately involves a number of risks and side effects including a very high rate of retrograde ejaculation.


  • Effective for treatment of BPH symptoms
  • Most common surgery used to remove part of an enlarged prostate
  • Long track record of success

Perioperative and Short-Term Risks1,2

  • General anesthesia
  • Intracapsular perforation
  • TUR syndrome
  • Transfusions
  • Post operative pain and discomfort
  • Infection

Longer Term Complications1,2

  • Urethral stricture
  • Bladder neck stenosis
  • Retrograde ejaculation
  • Erection problems
  • Painful Urination

1AUA Treatment Guidelines: Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (2010)
2Carter HB. Prostate Disorders: The Johns Hopkins White Papers. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Medicine; 2010:1-24.