Water as an irrigant in transurethral resection of the prostate: a cost-effective alternative

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The safety of water as an irrigant solution in transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) has been a controversial issue. Although it has been mostly abandoned in more affluent countries, it is still widely used in developing countries simply because of financial reasons. With this study, we attempted to show in a representative number of cases that this method can be applied without major fluid absorption, as would be indicated by changes in sodium (Na), creatinine (Crea), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and free haemoglobin (fHb) levels in serum. Prospectively, we assessed the occurrence of clinical symptoms of TUR-syndrome, as well as changes in serum parameters in 60 patients irrigated during TURP with sterile water. Values of patients with some degree of resorption, as indicated by a drop in serum sodium, were compared to patients without any resorption. There was no TUR-syndrome in our patients, and serum levels of all parameters did not change significantly after TURP with water. Patients with a drop in sodium post-TURP did not have significant changes in Crea, BUN or fHb. The average saving was 162.60 USD per treatment. In our study population, water was a safe irrigation solution. Even with some degree of resorption, there were no significant haemolysis or metabolic imbalances. Saving for the patient are considerable and render the treatment affordable.


Archivio Italiano Di Urologia, Andrologia