Transurethral resection of the prostate (commonly known as a TURP, plural TURPs, and rarely as a transurethral prostatic resection, TUPR) is a urological operation. It is used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). As the name indicates, it is performed by visualising the prostate through the urethra and removing tissue by electrocautery or sharp dissection. This is considered the most effective treatment for BPH. This procedure is done with spinal or general anaesthetic. A triple lumen catheter is inserted through the urethra to irrigate and drain the bladder after the surgical procedure is complete. Outcome is considered excellent for 80-90% of BPH patients.
BPH is normally initially treated medically. This is done through alpha antagonists such as tamsulosin or 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors such as finasteride and dutasteride. If medical treatment does not reduce a patient's urinary symptoms, a TURP may be considered following a careful examination of the prostate/bladder through a cystoscope. If TURP is contraindicated a urologist may consider a simple prostatectomy, in and out catheters, or a supra-pubic catheter to help a patient void urine effectively. As medical management of BPH improves, the numbers of TURPs have been decreasing.
Traditionally, a cystoscope [a resectoscope which has a 30-degree viewing angle, along with resectoscopy sheath & working element] has been used to perform TURP. The scope is passed through the urethra to the prostate where surrounding prostate tissue can then be excised.
A monopolar device utilizing a wire loop with electric current flowing in one direction (thus monopolar) can be used to excise tissue via the resectoscope. A grounding ESU pad and irrigation by a nonconducting fluid is required to prevent this current from disturbing surrounding tissues. This fluid (usually glycine) can cause damage to surrounding tissue after prolonged exposure, resulting in TUR syndrome, so surgery time is limited.
TURP using a bipolar device is a newer technique that uses bipolar current to remove the tissue.  Bipolar TURP allows saline irrigation and eliminates the need for an ESU grounding pad thus preventing post-TURP hyponatremia (TUR syndrome) and reducing other complications. As a result, bipolar TURP is also not subject to the same surgical time constraints of conventional TURP.
Another transurethral method utilizes laser energy to remove tissue. With laser prostate surgery a fiber optic cable pushed through the urethra is used to transmit lasers such as holmium-Nd:YAG high powered "red" or potassium titanyl phosphate (KTP) "green" to vaporize the adenoma. More recently the KTP laser has been supplanted by a higher power laser source based on a lithium triborate crystal, though it is still commonly referred to as a "Greenlight" or KTP procedure. The specific advantages of utilizing laser energy rather than a traditional electrosurgical TURP is a decrease in the relative blood loss, elimination of the risk of post-TURP hyponatremia (TUR syndrome), the ability to treat larger glands, as well as treating patients who are actively being treated with anti-coagulation therapy for unrelated diagnoses.
Because of bleeding risks associated with the surgery, TURP is not considered safe for many patients with cardiac problems.
Postoperative complications include 
Additionally, transurethral resection of the prostate is associated with a low risk of mortality.