Complications of transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)--incidence, management, and prevention

Eur Urol. 2006 Nov;50(5):969-79; discussion 980. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2005.12.042. Epub 2006 Jan 30.


Objectives: To update the complications of transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), including management and prevention based on technological evolution.

Methods: Based on a MEDLINE search from 1989 to 2005, the 2003 results of quality management of Baden-W├╝rttemberg, and long-term personal experience at three German centers, the incidence of complications after TURP was analyzed for three subsequent periods: early (1979-1994); intermediate (1994-1999); and recent (2000-2005) with recommendations for management and prevention.

Results: Technological improvements such as microprocessor-controlled units, better armamentarium such as video TUR, and training helped to reduce perioperative complications (recent vs. early) such as transfusion rate (0.4% vs. 7.1%), TUR syndrome (0.0% vs. 1.1%), clot retention (2% vs. 5%), and urinary tract infection (1.7% vs. 8.2%). Urinary retention (3% vs. 9%) is generally attributed to primary detrusor failure rather than to incomplete resection. Early urge incontinence occurs in up to 30-40% of patients; however, late iatrogenic stress incontinence is rare (<0.5%). Despite an increasing age (55% of patients are older than 70), the associated morbidity of TURP maintained at a low level (<1%) with a mortality rate of 0-0.25%. The major late complications are urethral strictures (2.2-9.8%) and bladder neck contractures (0.3-9.2%). The retreatment rate range is 3-14.5% after five years.

Conclusions: TURP still represents the gold standard for managing benign prostatic hyperplasia with decreasing complication rates. Technological alternatives such as bipolar and laser treatments may further minimize the risks of this technically difficult procedure.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Prostate / pathology
  • Prostate / surgery
  • Transurethral Resection of Prostate / adverse effects*
  • Transurethral Resection of Prostate / methods*
  • Transurethral Resection of Prostate / mortality