Canadian Cancer Society logo

Prostate cancer

You are here: 

Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)

A transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is the removal of prostate tissue through the urethra, to reduce the size of the prostate. It is a very common surgery in men with benign enlargement of the prostate. It may also be used in men who have a blockage of the urethra due to prostate cancer.

A TURP is done in a hospital while the man is under general or spinal anesthesiaanesthesiaThe loss of some or all feeling or awareness.:

  • A specialized thin tube with a light and camera (resectoscope) is inserted through the urethra into the prostate.
  • The surgeon is able to see inside the urethra and bladder.
  • Excess prostate tissue is trimmed from the area around the urethra.
  • A catheter is placed into the bladder to drain urine. It is removed once the urine becomes free of blood (usually 24 hours).

This procedure does not cure the prostate cancer. It removes the blockage of the urethra due to the enlarged prostate and relieves the urinary symptoms. TURP may be used in combination with other treatments, such as hormonal therapy.


Dr Christopher Phenix Dr Christopher Phenix developed a new tool to watch aggressive cancers.

Learn more

Support from someone who has ‘been there’

Illustration of conversation

The Canadian Cancer Society’s peer support program is a telephone support service that matches cancer patients and their caregivers with specially trained volunteers.

Learn more