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Transurethral vaporisation of the prostate (TUVP)

BMJ Group Medical Reference


This information is for men who have an enlarged prostate. It tells you about transurethral vaporisation of the prostate (TUVP), a type of surgery used for an enlarged prostate. It is based on the best and most up-to-date research.

Does it work?

Your symptoms are likely to improve if you have transurethral vaporisation of the prostate (TUVP). TUVP may work as well as the standard operation for an enlarged prostate, called a transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP).

What is it?

This operation uses a high-energy electric current to destroy prostate tissue.

An instrument is put into the opening in your penis and up your urethra to your prostate. This instrument is moved over the surface of your prostate. It uses an electrode (a device that carries an electric current) to heat the tissue and burn it away. This current also seals the blood vessels and stops bleeding.

How can it help?

TUVP can help your symptoms and make it easier for you to urinate. [83]

Research suggests it may help symptoms as much as the traditional surgery for an enlarged prostate ( transurethral resection of the prostate, TURP), and these benefits may last for at least five years. It also seems to improve the flow of urine as well as TURP. [69]

TUVP may also improve symptoms as much as another operation called transurethral holmium laser enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP). [69]

How does it work?

The electric current makes heat that destroys part of your prostate. This should stop it pressing against your bladder and urethra and causing problems when you urinate.

Can it be harmful?

Some men have problems after TUVP, including difficulty urinating, erection problems, and dry climax (little or no fluid comes out of their penis when they have an orgasm). These problems may also happen with TURP and other types of surgery for an enlarged prostate. However, TUVP is less likely than TURP to cause heavy bleeding requiring a blood transfusion. [69]

How good is the research on transurethral vaporisation of the prostate (TUVP)?

There is fairly good research on transurethral vaporisation of the prostate (TUVP).

We found a review of the research that looked at several studies. It found that TUVP improved symptoms and urine flow as much as the traditional surgery for an enlarged prostate ( transurethral resection of the prostate, TURP) and another type of surgery called transurethral holmium laser enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP). [69] However, people were less likely to lose a lot of blood with TUVP than with TURP.


blood transfusion

If you've lost too much blood from your body, you may need a blood transfusion to replace it. People with diseases of their blood, like sickle cell anaemia, sometimes need blood transfusions to replace blood that doesn't work properly.

systematic reviews

A systematic review is a thorough look through published research on a particular topic. Only studies that have been carried out to a high standard are included. A systematic review may or may not include a meta-analysis, which is when the results from individual studies are put together.


Your urethra is the tube that carries urine from your bladder out of your body. In a man, the urethra runs through the inside of the penis. In a woman, the urethra is shorter and opens onto the top of the vagina.

For more terms related to Prostate, enlarged


For references related to Prostate, enlarged click here.
Last Updated: October 08, 2012
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.

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