Thick vs thin loop transurethral resection of the prostate: a double-blind prospective trial of early morbidity



Objective To compare blood loss, irrigation requirements and hospital stay between standard transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) and resection incorporating vaporization, i.e. transurethral vaporization resection (TUVRP).

Patients and methods Seventy patients were prospectively randomized in a blinded fashion between TURP with a standard resection loop (thin loop) or resection with a roller cutting electrode (thick loop). The outcome was assessed as the change in haemoglobin at 30 min and 24 h after the resection finished. Secondary outcome measures were irrigation requirements, length of catheterization, hospital stay, changes in serum sodium, and complications. The nursing staff and surgical registrar managing the patients after surgery were unaware of the resection technique used.

Results Data were available for 65 patients (36 thin loop and 29 thick loop resections). The mean decrease in haemoglobin after TURP was 14.8 g/L at 30 min and 11.8 g/L at 24 h; for TUVRP the corresponding values were 14.6 and 14.2 g/L (P = 0.69). In addition, there was no difference in irrigation requirements, changes in serum sodium, length of catheterization, hospital stay or bleeding complications.

Conclusion The use of a thick loop at higher cutting current settings during TUVRP offers no advantage over standard thin-loop TURP.