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What is a TUIP?

By Dulce Corazon
Updated Feb 21, 2024
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TUIP stands for transurethral incision of the prostate. It is a surgical procedure usually performed for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Benign prostatic hyperplasia is a condition, often seen in men in their 70s, characterized by the enlargement of the prostate. Symptoms include pain during urination, weak flow of urine, difficulty urinating, and frequent urination. TUIP is generally performed to correct the flow of urine and provide relief from these symptoms.

The prostate gland produces semen, which is important in the transport and nourishment of sperm. It is a small structure located below the bladder, where urine is stored, and also surrounds the urethra, which is a tube-like channel inside the penis where urine and sperm pass through during urination and ejaculation, respectively. As men grow older, the prostate normally gets bigger. Some men may have mild or no symptoms of this enlargement at all. When the enlargement puts too much pressure on the urethra, however, and causes limitations in the flow of urine, moderate to severe symptoms often manifest.

Urologists are doctors specializing in the treatment of disorders affecting the male reproductive system. They are usually the ones who perform the TUIP procedure. TUIP is mostly done in patients who have a slight enlargement of the prostate and whose symptoms do not respond to medications. When BPH affects the quality of a patient's life, surgical procedures are often necessary interventions. These may include TUIP; transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), where prostate tissue is removed during the procedure; and open prostatectomy, which requires the surgical opening of the abdomen to gain access to the prostate.

Patients for TUIP procedure are usually placed under general or spinal anesthesia. The urologist then inserts a long and narrow tube equipped with a camera, knife, and electrical wire into the urethra. Small cuts are then made in the bladder and prostate to relieve the obstruction and facilitate the flow of urine. TUIP is generally a short procedure, with the patient likely to remain in the hospital for next 24 to 48 hours. A catheter, a narrow tube inserted in the urethra towards the bladder, is often inserted after the procedure to drain urine freely into a collection bag.

After undergoing TUIP, most symptoms of BPH usually resolve. A small number of patients, however, experience certain side effects after undergoing the procedure. These include erection problems, incontinence or inability to control urination, and retrograde ejaculation. Retrograde ejaculation happens when the semen flows into the bladder during ejaculation. Fertility is frequently affected when this occurs.

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