The TURP Procedure Explained
For those who missed me for a day or so I underwent a local outpatient procedure that is in no way similar to a colonoscopy. I was given a 2pm appointment and told to stop all aspirin products and any medications which might allow my blood to thin. There was no enema requirement, but the nurse on the phone cautioned me not to eat anything after midnight the night before.
One of the requirements for sanitation was to bathe with a hospital grade antibiotic soap for 3 days prior to the surgery. That stuff makes you look a bit yellow and dries out the pores a bit, but a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do, right?
I also had another doctor consultation at a different local hospital downtown the morning before my procedure. This consult was around the same area of the body, but the opposite end as the TURP. I won’t get into that suffice to say my wife and I left home around 7am and I reported into the doctor’s office at 8:15 am. It was around 10:00 am by the time we left the hospital, so we headed over to the other hospital for my appointed procedure.
I don’t know if anyone else has had this procedure but after checking in to get my wristband identity bracelet, we waited for a room to open in the pre-surgery area. I was surprised by the number of people waiting for any number of different procedures. They kept calling people forward, checking their information and disappeared behind what I suspect was door #1. Soon the only one left to be called was me and finally it was my turn.
I think I’ve given up on being modest after getting into a room and the nurse said to remove all clothing except my socks, my wife gathered up my discarded clothing and personal effects and placed them into hospital bags. I was told to don the gown, with the opening to the back and lie on the gurney and use an insulated blanket that resembled a tinfoil sheet on top of a layer of cotton.
Then came the interrogation, well sort of it was question after question about my living will (my wife had full authority to tell them to pull the plug (if it came to that). They wanted to know what medication I had taken and when, what I had eaten last and when, when had I last tasted water.
The nurse just finished when the doctor popped in and announced it wouldn’t be long. Then the anesthesiologist came in to check my chart and make sure I wasn’t allergic to any medications. He was followed by the nurse who would be my operating room nurse. My wife was given my patient number and instructions on how to follow along as to when I was in surgery, moved into recovery and on my way back to the same room. She was then taken to the waiting room for a 2 ½ hour surgery.
I couldn’t help notice that almost all the operating room nurses, technicians and who knows a janitor maybe, were all women. They pulled a warm towel out and covered me with it and I sort of drifted off to la la land, no longer worried about my modesty.
This might be time to explain the TURP (Button TransUrethral Resection Prostate) procedure. It’s basically a miniature sized laser surgery inside an enlarged prostate where the urinary tract has become quite closed making urination painful and difficult at best. I won’t go into detail how they got there because remember I’m out of it already.
Next I hear a voice and see the nurse talking to me trying to get me to wake up. She said we’re done and soon we’ll go from the ICU recovery room back to my room pending discharge when the doctor decides I’m ready to go home.
As I became awake I saw my wife sitting there and the nurse began to explain to her what to do for home care with me wearing a catheter. Stop right there. I’ve had catheters before, but only in the hospital setting and only for a few hours when needed. But here we are on a Thursday evening and I have to wear it until Monday?
We finally got home around 7:00 pm and my youngest daughter stopped in shortly after we arrived. She had hamburgers, fries and sodas for us straight for a local fast food restaurant (not McD’s either). The three of us ate and she headed home as we prepared to go to bed 12 hours after we had left the house that morning.
The nurse had stressed about staying hydrated by drinking lots and lots and lots of water. Colorado Springs is at a bit of an altitude, so water is important (For me water has been for coffee). I soon didn’t see the point of drinking, but I kept on emptying one bottle after another. Funny thing is the water seemed to pass through my body and go straight into the bag. I felt like skipping the middle man – me and just dumping the water into the toilet (I did resist that urge).
The nurse has said no showers until Friday when I could navigate the walk in shower without losing my balance. The hot water felt good. So I stayed around the house all weekend and on Monday morning we headed over to my follow up appointment to get the catheter removed. Ouch! It was then I wished I had some adult pullups or something as I had absolutely no control over my bladder, and the water had no place to go but then gravity took over. My daughter remedied that rather quickly and even picked up my antibiotic from the store.
By the next day (Tuesday) I had regained control and was pretty much back on track with no issues relating to bladder discharge. Blood in the urine is to be expected for about 6 weeks. Then it will be time for another follow up with the doctor.
Today is Wednesday and I’m pretty much back on my regular (no heavy lifting) schedule – retired. If you’re suffering frequent and urgent urination I suggest considering this procedure (talk to your doctor about doing it first). In case you’re wondering why, I must write things down or I tend to forget the details. – I am the Real Truckmaster!