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As they age, many men find they are urinating more frequently (including night time toilet trips) and dribbling urine. This is often because of an otherwise harmless growth in their prostate. Prostate surgery and laser prostate surgery can remove the tissue that obstructs the urinary flow and causes these symptoms.

The procedures takes 60 to 90 minutes, are largely painless and often don’t require an overnight stay.

Why you might need it

Most men’s prostates grow as they get older, often without any symptoms. It becomes a problem, however, when the prostate starts to press on the urethra (the tube which urine passes through) and affects urination. The condition is known as benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH).

It’s likely you’ll be affected by symptoms such as having to urinate unusually frequently (including several times during the night) and urine dribbling.

Your doctor may have suggested ‘watchful waiting’ and medicines but if they haven’t worked two procedures are available to correct it and hopefully end the symptoms.

One involves a thin surgical tube and is called a transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). The second is laser prostate surgery.

Either procedure removes most or all of the enlarged prostate gland during a 60 to 90 minute operation. They can be performed under general anaesthetic (which means you’ll be asleep) or under local anaesthetic (which means you’ll be awake but you won’t feel any pain).

Afterwards, urine should flow freely again.

Who will do it?

Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see, and when you want. They'll be with you every step of the way.

All of our consultants are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well-equipped hospitals.

Our consultants have high standards to meet, often holding specialist NHS posts and delivering expertise in complex sub-speciality surgeries. Many of our consultants have international reputations for their research in their specialised field.

Before your treatment

You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.

We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.

We will also discuss which procedure - either laser surgery or TURP - is the best option for you. You’re less likely to require a hospital stay with laser treatment and the odds of bleeding are also lower. It’s also associated with an improvement in urinary flow.

Both procedures result in a rapid improvement in their urinary flow rate.

Preparing for your treatment

We've tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.

For more information on visiting hours, our food, what to pack if you're staying with us, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.

Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.

The procedure

There are two types of surgeries - TURP and laser prostate surgery. You and your consultant will have discussed which procedure is best for you.


Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)

A transurethral resection of the prostate, or TURP for short, involves a thin, tube-like telescope called a resectoscope, which is put into the opening of your penis and passed up the urethra towards the prostate. An attachment at the end of the resectoscope is used to cut away part of the prostate using electrical energy. There are no stitches or dressings after this operation.

The operation lasts for about an hour. Afterwards, a catheter is inserted to allow urine to flow freely. This is a thin, sterile tube that is inserted through the urethra and into your bladder.


Laser prostate surgery

Laser prostate surgery is a treatment using high powered laser energy (e.g. HoLEP Holmium laser or GreenLight laser) to remove or enucleate obstructive prostatic tissue or vaporise tissue with the aim of leaving a wide channel and restoring normal urinary function. Under anaesthesia a small flexible fibre-optic is inserted into the urethra. Light pulses are then sent through this fibre, to cut away the obstructing prostatic tissue which is removed from the bladder with a morcellator. There is minimal bleeding or pain after the procedure.

The procedure takes up to 90 minutes and is performed under general or spinal anaesthesia.

*Please note, we do not offer GreenLight Laser therapy at Spire Harpenden Hospital.

Aftercare

If you had the TURP procedure you’ll stay in hospital for up to two days.

You may be discharged on the same day if you had laser treatment, although some people need to stay in hospital for the night.

After this, you will be taken to your room or comfortable area where you can rest and recuperate until we feel you’re ready to go home.


Pain relief and recovery time

You will probably have some pain after either procedure. We’ll give you painkillers but over the counter medicines should be enough when you leave hospital. 

We will provide you with a supply of all the medicines your consultant feels you need to take home with you after you've left hospital, up to 14 days. This may be at an additional cost to some patients.

The length of time you need to take off work depends on the nature of your job. A full recovery from a TURP normally takes four to six weeks. After this you can resume your normal activities, including sex. Do follow your surgeon’s specific advice about heavy work or strenuous activity. The usual advice is to avoid it for about six weeks.

You’ll need a friend or relative to pick you up from hospital as you'll feel woozy from the anaesthetic.


Caring for you

Even once you’ve left hospital, we’re still here for you. Your consultant is likely to want to see you after your treatment to see how you're doing. A follow up appointment will be made for you before you leave the hospital.

On rare occasions, complications following treatment can occur. If you experience any of the below symptoms, please call us straight away.

  • heavily blood stained urine
  • a fever or high temperature
  • inability to urinate
  • increasing pain.

Your consultant will talk to you about the possible risks and complications of having this procedure and how they apply to you.

If you have any questions or concerns, we’re ready to help.

Why choose Spire?

We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.

How much does it cost?

Prostate surgery (greenlight laser and TURP) is available at £5,592.

You can trust Spire Harpenden Hospital to provide you with a single, fixed price* so there are no surprises. And, through our carefully chosen partner you can even be considered for interest free finance.

We’re here to help you with making these important choices, so you’re then free to concentrate on your treatment and on getting back to being you.

Important: Please read Spire’s terms and conditions for full details of what’s included and excluded in your fixed price* when paying for yourself.

* Zebra Finance Ltd trading as Zebra Health Finance , Lincoln House, Stephensons Way, Wyvern Business Park, Derby, DE21 6LY. 

Important to note

The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.