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The prostate is an organ in the male reproductive system. It is a small, rubbery gland that is situated in the pelvis, below the bladder, and is responsible for producing alkaline seminal fluid, promoting survival of sperm in the female reproductive tract. The prostate gland also helps with regulating urine flow. Prostate problems are common among older men. Benign prostatic enlargement is one of the most common causes of difficulty in passing urine. Other causes include prostatitis and prostate cancer.


Signs of prostate conditions usually affect urination, including:

  • Weak or thin urine stream
  • Difficulties starting a urine stream or stopping and starting the stream while urinating
  • Poor bladder control, which includes frequent bathroom visits
  • Urinary urgency, with small amounts of urine passed

Prostate conditions may also cause problems like urinary tract infections, sexual dysfunction, bladder stones, or in extreme cases, kidney failure.

How are prostate conditions treated with surgery?

Prostate surgery depends on the type of prostate condition diagnosed and your overall health. The urologist may recommend the following if medical treatment had failed or is very likely to fail:

  • Transurethral resection of the prostate
    Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) procedure is surgery undertaken to treat male urinary problems caused by benign prostatic enlargement. TURP is an effective step for males who have not responded to medication aimed at treating a symptomatic enlarged prostate. During the TURP, which is done under spinal and/or general anaesthesia, Dr Hayden will insert a resectoscope via the urethra and use this combination visual/surgical instrument to remove the section of excess tissue from the prostate that is blocking urine flow.
  • Transurethral incision and/or resection of the bladder neck
    A bladder neck incision (BNI) with or without resection of the bladder neck is used for treating obstructive urinating symptoms due to bladder neck dysfunction, more commonly found in younger men. Transurethral resection of the bladder neck may also be necessary for treating bladder neck contracture, which can occur at the junction of the bladder and the prostate (especially if the patient has had prostate surgery).
  • Open Prostate Surgery
    Excess prostate tissue is shelled out from an incision to the lower abdomen for a prostate that is too large to be effectively and safely resected via the urethra.
When should I see the doctor?

You should see the doctor if you notice the following:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Pain during urination or after ejaculation
  • Pain in the penis, scrotum or the area between the scrotum and anus
  • Severe discomfort in the lower abdomen
  • Fever, chills, or body aches associated with urinary problems
  • Weak urine stream or dribbling at the end of urinating
  • Urine with an unusual odour or colour
  • Inability to empty the bladder completely
  • Trouble controlling the bladder, such as stopping or delaying urination
What are the common side effects of transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)?

The most common temporary side effects of TURP include:

  • Discomfort during urination
  • Sudden urge to urinate
  • Small dribbles or clots of blood in the urine
  • Difficulties emptying the bladder completely
  • Rarely Urinary incontinence (leakage) or urinary retention

The most common long-term side effect of TURP includes retrograde ejaculation

How can prostate problems be prevented?

A diet that is low in saturated fat and high in fruits and vegetables may help prevent prostate problems.