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Surgical intervention for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)

Surgical intervention for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)

Best Practice Guidance


Transurethral resection of prostate (TURP) is a therapeutic procedure involving removal of tissue from the inner aspect of the prostate using diathermy, via an endoscopic approach. It is commonly undertaken for voiding lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) presumed secondary to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

TURP is undertaken on an in-patient basis, with a catheter left in-situ for 24-48 hours post-op for the purpose of irrigation. TURP may be undertaken under either general or spinal anaesthesia.

TURP causes temporary discomfort, occasionally pain, haematuria and is associated with small risks of infection and acute urinary retention after removal of the catheter. There is also a risk of sexual dysfunction following TURP. There are small but significant risks of significant harm, including severe fluid and electrolyte imbalances associated with absorption of large volumes of irrigating fluid (TUR syndrome). TUR syndrome can be avoided by using bipolar diathermy, a variant of the standard technology.

TURP is the longest established of a range of endoscopic surgical procedures for benign enlargement of the prostate, with varying indications and potential complications. These include, among others:


  • Transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP) or Bladder Neck Incision (BNI)
  • Holmium LASER enucleation of the prostate
  • 532 nm (‘Greenlight’) laser vaporisation of the prostate
  • UroLift
  • Transurethral needle ablation of the prostate (TUNA)
  • Transurethral vaporisation of the prostate (TUVP)
  • Transurethral water vapour therapy (Rezum).

Open simple/benign prostatectomy is uncommonly undertaken in men with very large prostates and problematic symptoms. Newer ablative therapies are currently under evaluation and non-surgical procedures such as prostatic artery embolisation (PAE).


This guidance applies to male adults aged 19 years and over.


Only men with severe voiding symptoms, or in whom conservative management options and drug treatment have been unsuccessful, should be offered surgical intervention. Surgery is indicated (in healthy men) in complicated BPH i.e. chronic retention with renal impairment as evidenced by hydronephrosis and impaired GFR, and in most cases of acute retention secondary to BPH.

As such, a staged approach to managing voiding LUTS is recommended:

  1. Conservative, or lifestyle interventions should be discussed.
  2. Drug therapy should then be considered, in the context of more bothersome LUTS, or LUTS not responding to simple lifestyle interventions.
  3. Where bothersome LUTS persist alongside high, or unchanged International Prostate Symptom Scores, or in the context of urinary tract infections, bladder stones or urinary retention, surgical intervention should be considered using a shared decision-making approach.

Men considering surgical intervention should be counselled thoroughly regarding alternatives to and outcomes from surgery. The quality of this counselling is deemed to be of major importance with respect to men’s future experience and outcomes.

Following a discussion about whether to intervene surgically, men should be counselled about their preferred and most suitable surgical modality, incorporating reference to available evidence. Practical concerns, including the distance required to travel to pursue a given modality of surgical treatment are also important. Appropriate support shoulder be provided to make shared decisions pertinent to physical, emotional, psychological and sexual health. If appropriate, carers should be informed and involved. With respect to surgical modality:

  • The UroLift system relieves lower urinary tract symptoms while avoiding the risk to sexual function and should be considered as an alternative to current surgical procedures for use in a day‑case setting in men who are aged 50 years and older and who have a prostate of less than 100 ml without an obstructing middle lobe
  • TURP, TUVP (including laser prostatic vaporisation) or HoLEP should be offered to men with voiding LUTS presumed secondary to BPH
  • HoLEP should be performed within centres specialising in the technique, or where mentorship arrangements are in place
  • TUIP should be offered to men with a prostate estimated to be smaller than 30ml
  • Open prostatectomy should only be offered as an alternative to endoscopic surgery, to men with prostates estimated to be larger than 80-100ml
  • Transurethral needle ablation, transurethral microwave thermotherapy, high‑intensity focused ultrasound, transurethral ethanol ablation of the prostate should not be offered as alternative surgical treatments for voiding LUTS presumed secondary to BPH.

Of note, some men with bothersome LUTS will have undergone multichannel cytometry, establishing clear evidence of bladder outlet obstruction. These men are the most likely to benefit from surgery, with guidance on when to undertake such assessment covered elsewhere in NICE and European guidelines.



Rationale for recommendation

NICE guidance provides clear evidence, in clinical and cost-effectiveness terms, that patients voiding LUTS presumed secondary to BPH, should be offered surgical intervention, only when those symptoms are severe, or when conservative management options have been unsuccessful.

TURP has long been the mainstay of surgical treatment for voiding LUTS presumed secondary to BPH. The newer surgical modalities outlined above have therefore been evaluated in comparison with TURP, as well as conservative management. NICE CG97 accordingly incorporated a comprehensive matrix of comparative studies between treatment modalities within its evidence review. This reflects increasing complexity in decision making around surgical intervention, increasingly involving ‘which’, as well as ‘when’ or ‘whether’ surgery should be offered.

The recommendation proposed here reflects the full breadth of comparative studies between surgical intervention and conservative management, as well as between different modalities of surgical intervention forming the basis of NICE CG97.

Patient information

Information for Patients

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a condition where, as people with a prostate grow older, the prostate gland becomes larger. It can cause urinary symptoms (affecting your pee). Some changes in lifestyle and some medicines may help relieve the symptoms. If these are not effective then in a small number of cases, surgery (an operation) may be appropriate.

About the condition

If you have found that lifestyle changes and medicines have not worked, then in some cases an operation on the prostate gland may help to improve symptoms. If the kidneys are not working well then an operation may be helpful.

BPH is a very common condition. It is not cancer. The increasing size of the prostate gland means that it is more difficult for urine to pass out from the bladder. This can lead to symptoms such as urgently needing to pass urine, difficulty starting urine flow, slow flow, and not completely emptying the bladder. In rare cases, there can be serious symptoms such as your kidneys not working well.

What are the BENEFITS of the surgery?

If you have found that lifestyle changes and medicines have not worked, then in some cases an operation on the prostate gland may help to improve symptoms. If the kidneys are not working well then an operation may be helpful.

What are the RISKS?

There are many sorts of operations that can be carried out. There are risks for all operations, including bleeding, infection, pain, and how an anaesthetic may affect you. There may also be a risk of developing sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction (unable to keep an erection).

What are the ALTERNATIVES?

Lifestyle changes such as avoiding caffeinated drinks, avoiding lots of fluid before bedtime and bladder training exercises are often helpful. There are also medicines to relax and shrink the prostate gland.

These changes and medicines should be tried before thinking about an operation. You can speak to a doctor or other clinician to help you decide what will work best for you.

What if you do NOTHING?

Without any lifestyle changes or treatments, symptoms of BPH may worsen over time.


Estimated activity
  • 14,561 episodes during 2018/19
  • Age/sex std rate per 100,000 – 24.5
  • Reduction opportunity: 4,363 (30%) based on 25th percentile of activity across CCGs.
  • Variation (age/sex std rates):
    • N-fold – 2.2
    • 10th percentile – 15.2
    • 25th percentile – 18.3
    • 50th percentile – 23.6
    • 90th percentile – 33.3


Procedure codes

M61.1 Total excision of prostate and capsule of prostate

M61.2 Retropubic prostatectomy

M61.3 Transvesical prostatectomy

M61.4 Perineal prostatectomy

M61.8 Other specified open excision of prostate

M61.9 Unspecified open excision of prostate

M64.1 Open resection of outlet of male bladder

M65.1 Endoscopic resection of prostate using electrotome

M65.2 Endoscopic resection of prostate using punch

M65.3 Endoscopic resection of prostate NEC

M65.4 Endoscopic resection of prostate using laser

M65.5 Endoscopic resection of prostate using vapotrode

M65.8 Other specified endoscopic resection of outlet of male bladder

M65.9 Unspecified endoscopic resection of outlet of male bladder

M66.1 Endoscopic sphincterotomy of external sphincter of male bladder

M66.2 Endoscopic incision of outlet of male bladder NEC

M68.1 Endoscopic insertion of prostatic stent

M68.3 Endoscopic insertion of prosthesis to compress lobe of prostate


Diagnosis codes

N40 Hyperplasia of prostate


C61 Malignant neoplasm of prostate

(Note – cancer diagnoses are a global exclusion)


Any other criteria (e.g. patient age)


Adult (aged >=19 years)

Exclude any patients admitted as a non-elective admission


Will the procedure be carried out in OP or as APC?

Admitted Patient Care


Coding logic

Procedure code in dominant position is:

M61.1 OR

M61.2 OR

M61.3 OR

M61.4 OR

M61.8 OR

M61.9 OR

M64.1 OR

M65.2 OR

M65.3 OR

M65.4 OR

M65.5 OR

M65.8 OR

M65.9 OR

M66.1 OR

M66.2 OR

M68.1 OR



Primary diagnosis code is:

N40 Hyperplasia of prostate


Diagnosis code in any position is NOT:

C61 Malignant neoplasm of prostate


Patient gender is male


Patient age >=19 years


APCS.Admission_Method not like (‘2%’)


SQL code
WHEN (left(der.Spell_Dominant_Procedure,4) like '%M61[123489]%'
OR left(der.Spell_Dominant_Procedure,4) like '%M641%'
OR left(der.Spell_Dominant_Procedure,4) like '%M65[1234589]%'
OR left(der.Spell_Dominant_Procedure,4) like '%M66[12]%'
OR left(der.Spell_Dominant_Procedure,4) like '%M68[13]%')
AND der.Spell_Primary_Diagnosis like '%N40%'
AND ISNULL(APCS.Age_At_Start_of_Spell_SUS,APCS.Der_Age_at_CDS_Activity_Date) between 19 AND 120
AND APCS.Admission_Method not like ('2%')
THEN '2I_BPH_surgery'

Global cancer exclusion
-- Cancer Diagnosis Exclusion
AND (apcs.der_diagnosis_all not like '%C[0-9][0-9]%'
AND apcs.der_diagnosis_all not like '%D0%'
AND apcs.der_diagnosis_all not like '%D3[789]%'
AND apcs.der_diagnosis_all not like '%D4[012345678]%'
OR apcs.der_diagnosis_all IS NULL)

Additional Exclusions
-- Private Appointment Exclusion
AND apcs.Administrative_Category<>'02'


  1. NICE clinical guideline (2010) Lower urinary tract symptoms in men: management. [CG97].
  2. NICE Medical technologies guidance (2015) UroLift for treating lower urinary tract symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia [MTG 26].
  3. European Association of Urology guideline on the management of non-neurogenic male LUTS.
  4. Harrison S (2018) Urology, GIRFT Programme National Specialty Report. GIRFT.

How up to date is this information?

August 2022


August 2022 - Coding updated