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