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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Transurethral resection of the prostate in Northern Nigeria, problems and prospects

SU Alhasan1*, SA Aji1, AZ Mohammed2 and S Malami2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Surgery, Bayero University and Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, PMB 3452, Kano, Nigeria

2 Department of Pathology, Bayero University and Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, PMB 3452, Kano, Nigeria

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BMC Urology 2008, 8:18  doi:10.1186/1471-2490-8-18

Published: 6 December 2008



Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is the commonest disease of the urinary tract afflicting the ageing male and is the commonest neoplastic disease in men aged 50 years and above.

Transurethral prostatectomy (TURP) is the ultimate treatment of choice for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) due mainly to the preference of minimally invasive surgery, long term relief of symptoms and cost effectiveness. It is however not available to the majority of Nigerians in need of prostatic surgery in Public Health Institutions.


The records of patients who underwent prostatectomy in Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, over the period June 2001 to July 2007 were examined. The bio data of patients and laboratory investigations performed were retrieved.


Five Hundred and forty two patients were operated upon, out of which 40 were excluded due to open prostatectomy (22 patients), bladder neck stenosis (16 patients) or bladder tumour around the trigon (2 patients). The age range of the patients was 47–110 years with a mean of 67.2 years. 289 patients (80.1%) had urethral catheter in situ at presentation and 11 (3%) patients had suprapubic cystostomy of which only 3 (0.85%) had combined urethral stricture and BPH.

Only 131 (26%) had their PSA measured which ranged from 2–100 ng/ml out of which 39(29.8% n = 131) patients had more than 4 ng/ml and cancer of the prostate and 1(0.8%, n = 131) patient had a PSA level of 4 ng/ml and malignant prostate.

Hospital stay was 1–32 days (mean 7.9) and the mean follow up period was 5.6 months (range 0–60) and there were 17.5% complications comprising of urinary tract infection (UTI) 7.2%, Orchitis 2.2%, urinary incontinence 0.6%, atonic bladder 1%, erectile dysfunction 0.6%, cerebrovascular accident 0.4%, myocardial infarction 0.4%, deep vein thrombosis 0.4% and disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (DIC) 0.6% and 1.2% mortality. The cost of treatment inclusive of pre-admission investigations was US$ 615.00 (range US$ 300–1,300)


Despite advances in minimally invasive therapy for LUTH/BPH, TURP is the optimum treatment of choice for the ageing male of sub-Saharan Africa. It is however not available to the majority of patients in this region due to poor health allocation and inadequate facilities and training.