Once you are asleep, Dr Swindle will start the operation by inserting a fine telescope down the penis into the urethra. The urethra is the tube that drains urine from the bladder to the penis. This instrument allows Dr Swindle to examine the urethra, prostate and bladder. After the prostate has been inspected an instrument called a resectoscope is then used to cut away the enlarged prostate tissue. The tissue is cut by a wire loop at the end of the resectoscope that has an electrical current running through it. The wire loop both cuts the prostate tissue and seals blood vessels.
The procedure usually takes about 1 hour and at the end of the procedure you will be transferred to the recovery ward where nurses keep a close eye on you for about an hour or so before transferring you back to the ward.
At the end of the operation a urinary catheter, which is a soft plastic tube, is placed inside the urethra to drain the urine from the bladder. The catheter is then connected to bags of fluid (saline or salty water) that wash out any blood that may accumulate in the bladder. It is normal for your urine to appear red or blood stained. This should not cause alarm and the irrigation into your bladder will continue until your urine is a clear color.
The following diagram demonstrates the procedure:
The tissue that is removed from your prostate will be sent to the pathologist for assessment to ensure there is no prostate cancer present. If you have a spinal anaesthetic you will be awake but drowsy and it is important that you remain still whilst Dr Swindle is operating. You will not feel any pain during the operation. There will be a feeling of numbness or heaviness in your legs for several hours after the operation and this is quite normal.