Urolift vs TURP

Got BPH? Here’s how it happened. The prostate surrounds the urethra. When the prostate becomes enlarged, which is typical as we age, it puts pressure on the urethra disrupting the urine flow and causing all the other symptoms related to BPH (you know the ones: frequent trips to the bathroom and nothing coming out, urgent need to pee, dribbling, infections, and so on).

Both Urolift and TURP are surgical procedures used to treat urinary problems caused by an enlarged prostate. There are some key differences between these two and we hope this comparison will help you decide which one is the right choice for you based on your lifestyle and priorities.

TURP Key Differences and Procedure

  • An older, invasive technology
  • Requires a general or spinal anesthetic
  • 2 in 3 patients will develop sexual dysfunction as a result, including erectile issues OR retrograde ejaculation (“dry orgasm”) *
  • Requires an overnight stay at the hospital
  • Longer bleeding time and clots more likely
  • More side-effects if you’re older
  • Treatment is free in Ontario for OHIP-eligible patients

During a TURP, the enlarged portion of the prostate is removed. A combined visual and surgical instrument (resectoscope) is inserted through the tip of your penis and into the urethra. This instrument is used to cut out the enlarged portion of your prostate.

Urolift Key Differences and Procedure

  • A minimally-invasive procedure
  • A recent innovation, thoroughly tested over the last 5 years
  • Preserves erectile and ejaculatory function
  • Is performed under light sedation or local anesthetic
  • An outpatient procedure with no downtime
  • Faster recovery with less bleeding and discomfort post-procedure
  • Treatment is fee-based; the costs may be covered by some private insurance plans and/or written off at tax time (consult your insurance provider and accountant for more info)

The Urolift approach is to open and contain the enlarged prostate, even if it continues to grow. Relief is achieved by placing tiny implants (like stitches) that hold the prostate in place and keep the urethra open. These implants are permanent. [Read more about Urolift]


The results for TURP and Urolift are comparable, with 80 to 90% of men reporting an improvement in their BPH symptoms. The decision comes down to a few factors:

  • Whether you’re eligible for Urolift based on your condition, general health and age
  • Whether the preservation of erectile and ejaculatory function is a concern
  • Affordability
    * World J Urol. 2004 Dec;22(6):457-60. Epub 2004 Oct 16.
    * Asian J Androl. 2006 Jan;8(1):69-74.