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Complications of Surgery to Treat Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Several complications could develop from surgery for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Which complication occurs depends on the type of surgery you have. Complications include:

  • A complete inability to urinate (acute urinary retention). Men who have this complication will need to have a urinary catheter until it gets better.
  • A risk of complications related to the anesthesia and surgery and a small risk of death (less than 1 in 1,000).
  • A strong urge to urinate (overactive bladder), which can also cause leaking of urine (urge incontinence).
  • Bleeding. The bleeding is sometimes severe enough that the man needs a blood transfusion.
  • Erection problems. Ask your doctor how many of his or her patients had this problem after surgery.
  • Retrograde ejaculation, in which semen flows backward into the bladder instead of out of the penis. While not harmful, this may make it more difficult to father children.
  • Scar tissue in the urethra that can build up and block urine flow. If that happens, the man may need a second surgery to fix it.
  • Urinary incontinence. Most men with this problem have only occasional dribbling.
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer J. Curtis Nickel, MD, FRCSC - Urology
Last Revised March 5, 2012

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 05, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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