NOTE: Some of the information provided contains graphic, medical images which individuals may find upsetting
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How is the procedure performed?
This procedure is normally performed under general or spinal anaesthetic. The bladder is inspected and then a resectoscope (pictured) is inserted.
This has a movable wire loop, connected to high-energy electric current, which can be used to cut the prostate away "piecemeal". Lower energy is also used to seal any blood vessels encountered during the procedure.
Once all the prostate has been removed, a cavity is left, relieving the obstruction to urine flow.
As the procedure progresses, all the "chippings" of prostate flush forwards into the bladder. At the end of the procedure, these chippings are evacuated by suction.
They are sent to the pathology laboratory where they are sampled and undergo microscopic analysis. If there is any suspicion of tumour in the sampled chippings, the entire specimen is examined in more detail.
Click here to view an endoscopic video of the procedure, courtesy of Mr Nigel Bullock