Minimally invasive prostate resection is surgery to remove part of the prostate gland, to treat an enlarged prostate. The surgery will improve the flow of urine through the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder outside of your body. It can be done in several different ways. There is no incision (cut) in your skin.
Laser prostatectomy; Transurethral needle ablation; TUNA; Transurethral incision; TUIP; Holmium laser enucleation of the prostate; HoLep; Interstitial laser coagulation; ILC; Photoselective vaporization of the prostate; PVP; Transurethral electrovaporization; TUVP; Transurethral microwave thermotherapy; TUMT
These procedures are usually done in your doctor's office or at an outpatient surgery clinic.
The surgery can be done in many different ways, depending on the size of your prostate and what caused it to grow. Your doctor will consider the size of your prostate, how healthy you are, and what type of surgery you may want.
All of these procedures are done by passing an instrument through the opening in your penis. You will be given general anesthesia (asleep and pain-free), spinal or epidural anesthesia (awake but pain-free), or local anesthesia and sedation. Choices are:
Laser prostatectomy: Laser prostatectomy takes about 1 hour. The laser destroys prostate tissue that blocks the opening of the urethra. You will probably go home the same day. You may need a Foley catheter placed in your bladder to help drain urine for a few days after surgery.
Transurethral needle ablation (TUNA): The surgeon passes needles into the prostate. High-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) heat the needles and prostate tissue. You may need a Foley catheter placed in your bladder to help drain urine after surgery for 3 to 5 days.
Transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT): TUMT delivers heat using microwave pulses to destroy prostate tissue. Your doctor will insert the microwave antenna through your urethra.
Transurethral electrovaporization (TUVP): A tool or instrument delivers high-voltage electrical current to destroy prostate tissue. You will have a catheter placed in your bladder. It may be removed within hours after the procedure.
Transurethral incision (TUIP): Your surgeon makes small surgical cuts where the prostate meets your bladder to make the urethra wider or more open. This procedure takes 20 to 30 minutes. Many men can go home the same day. Full recovery can take 2 to 3 weeks.
Why the Procedure Is Performed
An enlarged prostate can make it hard for you to urinate. You may also get urinary tract infections. Removing all, or part, of the prostate gland can make these symptoms better. Before you have surgery, your doctor will suggest you change how you eat or drink. You may also try some medicines.
Your doctor may recommend prostate removal if you:
Cannot completely empty your bladder (urinary retention)
You will have many visits with your doctor and tests before surgery:
Complete physical exam
Visits with your doctor to make sure medical problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart or lung problems are being treated well
If you are a smoker, you should stop several weeks before the surgery. Your doctor or nurse can help.
Always tell your doctor or nurse what drugs, vitamins, and other supplements you are taking, even ones you bought without a prescription.
During the weeks before your surgery:
You may be asked to stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), vitamin E, clopidogrel (Plavix), warfarin (Coumadin), and other drugs like these.
Ask your doctor which drugs you should still take on the day of your surgery.
On the day of your surgery:
Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery.
Take the drugs your doctor told you to take with a small sip of water.
Your doctor or nurse will tell you when to arrive at the hospital or clinic.
After the Procedure
You will probably go home the day you have surgery, or the day after. You may still have a catheter in your bladder when you leave the hospital or clinic.
These procedures can usually relieve your symptoms. But you have a higher chance of needing a second surgery in 5 to 10 years than if you have transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP).
Some of these less invasive surgeries may cause fewer problems with controlling your urine or sexual performance than the standard TURP. Talk to your doctor.
You may temporarily have:
Blood in your urine
Burning with urination
Need to urinate more often
Need to urinate suddenly
Hoekstra RJ, Van Melick HH, Kok ET, Ruud Bosch JL. A 10-year follow-up after transurethral resection of the prostate, contact laser prostatectomy and electrovaporization in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia; long-term results of a randomized controlled trial. BJU Int. 2010;106(6):822-826. Epub 2010 Feb 22.
Burke N, Whelan JP, Goeree L. Systematic review and meta-analysis of transurethral resection of the prostate versus minimally invasive procedures for the treatment of benign prostatic obstruction. Urology. 2010;75(5):1015-1022. Epub 2009 Oct 24.
Djavan B, Eckersberger E, Handl MJ, Brandner R, Sadri H, Lepor H. Durability and retreatment rates of minimally invasive treatments of benign prostatic hyperplasia: a cross-analysis of the literature. Can J Urol. 2010;17(4):5249-5254.
Fitzpatrick JM. Minimally invasive and endoscopic management of benign prostatic hyperplasia. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 88.
Scott Miller, MD, Urologist in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.