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Prostate Enlargement

What Are The Possible Complications Of Treatments?

Monday, April 23, 2012 - 16:24

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

All medical and surgical treatments involve some risk. This is especially true for surgical procedures such as TUIP, TURP, and open prostatectomy.


Following surgery for BPH, the incidence of impotence can range between four and 30 percent, depending on the surgical technique employed. Impotence means an inability to achieve or maintain an erection. Following surgery for BPH, complete recovery of sexual function may take as long as a year to achieve.

If a man was potent before surgery, the chances are very good that he will be able to maintain an erection after surgery. However, a problem called retrograde ejaculation can occur. During sexual intercourse, semen is shunted into the bladder rather than propelled through the urethra to the outside. In other words, the orgasm is "dry." This condition alters the sensation of orgasm and may cause sterility.

Urinary Incontinence

Postoperatively, a man may have temporary problems controlling his ability to pass urine-but in only one to three percent of cases is there permanent urinary incontinence . The discomfort during urination or a strong urge to urinate, which are caused when urine flows next to the surgical area, will gradually decrease and should disappear after several months.


Sometimes following surgery, the urine may appear bright red or may contain clumped blood. This may suggest continued bleeding at the operation site. This complication, if excessive or persistent, should be reported immediately to your urologist.

However, as a consequence of the healing process, some blood may appear in the urine following surgery for BPH. With adequate rest and increased fluid intake, the appearance of blood in the urine should disappear over time.


Death associated with surgery for BPH ranges between 1.5 and 3.5 percent of all cases. The risk is relatively low but must be carefully weighed against the need for and benefits of the surgical intervention.

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