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Transurethral Resection of the Prostate - TURP

Detroit Medical Center (DMC) offers patients a miraculous laser prostate procedure called Transurethral Resection of the Prostate, or TURP. The prostate is an organ that continues to grow throughout life. It grows at a rate of 25 every year after adolescence.


Unfortunately for some men, this creates an obstruction in their urinary flow, and they cannot urinate properly – or sometimes not at all.


Dr. Eric Jones is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan, and he experienced this problem while on a recent vacation. “I woke up at night and I felt like I had to go to the bathroom, but I could not go. I tried and tried for a couple of hours, walked around, did all kinds of things, and I’d never had anything like that happen before. I realized I needed to go into the emergency room.”


A catheter was placed to help Dr. Jones drain his bladder until he could return to Detroit. “I came back, and ended up seeing Dr. Santucci, who tried me on some oral medication to see if it could shrink down my prostate and get out the catheter. When the catheter came out, I still couldn’t void – go to the bathroom. So they put the catheter back in and then he told me about Transurethral Resection of the Prostate – TURP.”


The TURP operation was developed decades ago to shave out the blocking part of the prostate. While reliable at the time, the original Transurethral Resection of the Prostate had drawbacks. The equipment is now considered outdated, and led to a lot of bleeding, which also needed to be addressed.


The TURP offered by Dr. Santucci at Detroit Medical Center uses a laser to remove the blocking part of the prostate. Wherever the laser’s light shines, the laser vaporizes the tissue of the prostate blocking the urethra.


“In most cases there is no bleeding whatsoever,” says Dr. Santucci. “In a significant percentage of cases, the patent doesn’t even need to have a catheter installed; they can just leave the operating room and urinate normally. It’s almost miraculous.”


In this new model of Transurethral Resection of the Prostate, The patient also goes home the same day, in most cases. For Dr. Jones, it was a great result. “I spend seconds again in the bathroom, instead of minutes emptying my bladder.”


Learn more about Transurethral Resection of the Prostate.

Learn more about the Urology program at DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital.

Learn more about Dr. Richard Santucci.

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