Transurethral resection of the prostate - Recovery 

Recovering from surgery 

Leaving hospital

Following a transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), you should not feel any severe pain.

However, there may be some discomfort from the catheter and your urethra (the tube through which urine passes) will be swollen and sore.


You will be unable to urinate normally at first, due to the swollen urethra. A thin tube called a catheter will be inserted into your urethra and up into your bladder so urine can drain away.

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

After your urethra has healed and you are able to pass urine normally, the catheter will be removed and you can go home. This normally happens about 24-48 hours after surgery.

It's not uncommon to still experience problems passing urine and a catheter may need to be reinserted temporarily. A future date for its removal may then be arranged for you and you can go home with the catheter until then.


After having a TURP, most men are up and about around a week after surgery. However, you will be advised to take things easy for about a month to six weeks afterwards.

For the first four weeks, you should not lift or move any heavy objects (including shopping) or do any housework or digging. If possible, ask friends or family members if they can help around the house.

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

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

Blood in urine

After having a TURP, you may 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. If the increased blood in your urine continues for longer than 48 hours, you should contact the hospital.

Drinking plenty of fluids, such as water, fruit juice and tea, will help flush any blood or small blood clots out of your bladder.

If you have constant bleeding or difficulty passing urine, you should contact your surgeon. It is normal to frequently feel the need to urinate for the first few weeks after the operation. This is because your urethra and bladder will have been irritated during the operation.

Sometimes, the irritation might feel like a stinging sensation when you urinate. Despite the stinging and a need to urinate more frequently, you should still drink plenty of fluid because it will also help prevent an infection from developing.

Returning to work

It may take between four and eight weeks to fully recover from a TURP. Your GP or surgeon will advise about when it is safe to return to work. This will depend on your occupation - for example, if you work in an office, you may be able to return to work sooner than someone who does heavy manual work.


You will be advised not to drive for six weeks after having a TURP. You will usually be able to drive again when you can comfortably carry out an emergency stop. Your GP will be able to advise you about this.

Having sex

It will probably be several weeks after your operation before you feel comfortable enough to have sex.

Most men need to wait for six to eight weeks before having sex, after which time any bruising and tenderness should have healed.


Before you leave hospital after having a TURP, you should be given an appointment for a check-up at the outpatient clinic. This appointment will normally be about six weeks after the operation.

Page last reviewed: 09/08/2013

Next review due: 09/08/2015


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The 5 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

scouseacus said on 11 November 2014

I am 71 years old and had the TURP operation a week ago today at Broadgreen Hospital Liverpool. Everything was wonderful from admission to discharge. I was totally involved and informed about the operation from start to finish and all points between. I had the discomfit as I had been told and the catheter removal brought tears to my eyes but, after a few false starts I had passed enough urine to be allowed home. (50ml, 150ml, 300ml) for the first 48 hours at home I was passing quite a bit of blood and a few small clots but peeing like a racehorse albeit stinging a bit. The last couple of days it has been settling down with much less blood and a reasonable stream which still stings a bit. Prior to my hospital discharge I asked the consultant when I could resume sex and he suggested waiting a few days. However, I have been very good and although there was a stirring in my loins early this morning (a mild erection) the slight discomfit is still there and I can still feel the effects of a large catheter having been inserted in a small urethra, so I'll probably wait a couple of weeks.

I appreciate that it is very early days after my operation but at this stage notwithstanding the discomfit, I am sorry I had left it so long to have the operation. I'm with Eric the Penguin on this one; Go get it fixed.

Sorry for you other guys.
There is nothing I can say at this stage but I will post again in a few weeks post operation to say how it's going.

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vbsetter66 said on 08 October 2014

I am only 8 days post-op and it has been hell. Had surgery on Tuesday, went home on Wed, and had catheter removed on Fri. Fri night I was in ER as I could not urinate and was in severe pain. This came after several "projectile urination" episodes involving multiple blood clots about the size of a newborns fist. In the ER, they drained approx. 500 cc's from my bladder (including clots) and reinserted a much smaller catheter. The smaller catheter resulted in several days of having more "urine" in my diaper (yes a diaper was necessary) than what wound up in the bag. After going back to the surgeon 3 days later, a larger catheter was reinserted and worn for 2 days. This resulted in more pain, which during urination actually felt like another blockage. My third (and hopefully final) catheter was removed this morning. My first 2 urinations were extremely painful and not much urine. Finally, several hours later, I have urinated like a 20 year old relatively pain free. The past week was brutal and there were several complications. Hopefully this is the end of that and things will get better. If I had to do it all over again, I would choose the laser option. I was in the most pain I have ever had to endure the past week.

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Noggin the Nogg said on 18 August 2014

I had a turp about four years ago this September (2014). Other than loss of control of my urine-flow intially, I had no pain. Over time, I noticed a lack of sexual response (ED) due (I presume) to some 26 grams of prostatic material being removed, this was sent to Histology for chacking and I received the "All Clear" for Prostatic Cancer eventually. I eventually went back to the hospital and tried various stimulatory devices - some were messy and some were laughable (to me). The only thing that seemed to work was Sildenafil Citrate and I settled on the 50mg size which seemed to work. Now three years later the response is all but dead and I feel frustrated empty and worthless. I get angry for no apparent reason and its affecting my marriage. I am doing something about my anger, using exercise and controlled weight loss. I'm hoping I will control my temper better, but I am aware that the operation has affected me mentally, that I didn't think would happen.

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Eric the penguin said on 10 July 2014

Had Turp at the Royal Shrewsbury just over 2 weeks ago, operation was fine, no pain, some discomfort at having a 10mm dia tube inserted into a much smaller opening, it stings like hell when they take it out! but only for a second.
Discharged after 3 days, went home and found that on the first day I couldn't pee, late evening it was either A&E or use one of the catheters that I had been given to use before the op, I did this. It was very uncomfortable with some blood but I emptied 2 litres! blessed relief. Contacted Shrop Doc who gave me antibiotics for 5 days, cleared the problem quickly and now I can pee like a horse. I still pass a little dark blood in the beginning of the urine stream, but only in the day, pee first thing in the morning is clear. I have full control, don't leak but the need to pee is still urgent, when you gotta go, you gotta go! I am taking it easy, no heavy lifting, which is difficult as I normally move heavy things around, got rebuked by my lady this morning for emptying the dishwasher, well at least she cares.
My advice to anyone with a prostate issue, go get it fixed, put up with the discomfort for a month and get a good night's sleep for you and your partner.

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Johannescoetzee said on 16 May 2014

I've had a turps operation at the Royal Surrey nearly 2yrs ago,
presently I have most of the time extreme discomfort and pain. For two years I have not been able to be my normal active self resulting in me putting on weight to date 19kg's. The doctors keep on prescribing Finasteride and Ibuprufen wich doesn't help at all. It would seem that the NHS specialists and doctors don't care at all, at this rate theyr'e slowly killing me, so it would seem. What would be the next step?? anybody that can advise? or should I go overseas to have this sorted?

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