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TURP Syndrome

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Updated May 27, 2010

surgical instruments image Photo © Paul Tearle/Getty Images
Definition: TURP Syndrome, or TUR syndrome, is an uncommon but serious complication of a specific type prostate surgery.

During transurethral resection of the prostate surgery, a sterile irrigation solution is used to keep the surgical area clean and to prevent distribution of cancer cells if they are present. This solution is low in sodium. When this solution enters the bloodstream, it can lower the sodium level in the body.

Hyponatremia, or low blood sodium, can cause disorientation, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and in severe cases, brain edema and seizures.

Treatment varies based upon the severity of the low sodium, which can be determined by a simple blood test. Treatment may be as simple as restricting fluid intake, or may involve IV medication, or the administration of salt.

Also Known As: hyponatremia, low sodium, low blood sodium, Transurethral resection syndrome, transurethral resection of the prostate syndrome, water intoxication,
Alternate Spellings: TUR syndrome,
Examples:
After having a transurethral resection of the prostate, the man appeared disoriented and began vomiting. His doctor determined that he was experiencing TURP syndrome.
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