Bipolar TURP

Bipolar TURP Santa Barbara Urologist David Laub

Most doctors recommend removal of the enlarged part of the prostate as the best long-term solution for patients with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). Only the tissue that is pressing against the urethra is removed, leaving the rest intact. Surgery usually relieves the obstruction and incomplete bladder emptying caused by BPH.

While Dr. Laub primarily utilizes laser therapy at this time, there are some patients for whom conventional surgery is the most effective option, such as men with an elevated PSA or at risk for prostate cancer. In those cases, he will perform Bipolar TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate). TURP is the most common procedure used for 90 percent of all BPH prostate surgeries. This technique is minimally invasive and less traumatic than open forms of surgery, and requires a shorter recovery period.

How Bipolar TURP Works

During a Bipolar TURP operation, which lasts about one hour, Dr. Laub inserts an instrument called a resectoscope into the urethra through the penis. The resectoscope contains a light, valves for controlling irrigation fluid, and an electrical wire loop that cuts the obstructing tissue, removes it one piece at a time, and seals blood vessels. The pieces of tissue are carried by the fluid into the bladder and then flushed out at the end of the operation. The patient receives a general or spinal anesthesia and can usually go home that same day or after an overnight stay.

“Bipolar” refers to the use of a two-way electrical current, as opposed to the older monopolar (one-way) technology, which can be riskier due to potential water or glycerine buildup in the body. Because bipolar TURP uses a conductive saline solution, the procedure is much safer, allowing for longer surgical time as necessary for more complicated cases, as well as more efficient elimination of excised prostate tissue.

Benefits of Bipolar TURP

According to the American Urological Association, TURP is still the Gold Standard regarding effectiveness of treatment for BPH symptoms, such as:

  • Urinary retention
  • Excessive urination
  • Urinary urgency
  • Frequent nighttime urination

What you can expect

  • Extremely low risk of blood transfusion or sexual disfunction
  • Short hospital stay
  • Strong flow
  • Less urgency and nightime urination

When there is a need to biopsy for possible prostate cancer, the ability to resect tissue samples provides an advantage of Bipolar TURP over laser procedures. It can also be performed as a followup to GreenLight Laser Therapy or Urolift Treatment in rare instances when urinary symptoms haven’t improved.

Contact us to discuss Bipolar TURP and other options with Dr. Laub.