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Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is considered the gold standard surgical treatment for lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) secondary to benign prostatic hyperplasia. The number of TURPs performed has declined significantly over the last three decades owing to pharmaceutical therapy. TURP data from a single institution for the years 1990, 2000 and 2010 were compared to assess the difference in performance.A retrospective analysis was undertaken of all patients who underwent TURP between January and December 2010. These findings were compared with historical data for the years 1990 and 2000: 100 sets of case notes were selected randomly from each of these years.The number of TURPs performed fell from 326 in 1990 to 113 in 2010. The mean age of patients increased from 70.6 years to 74.0 years. There was also a significant increase in the mean ASA grade from 1.9 to 2.3. The most common indication for TURP shifted from LUTS to acute urinary retention. No significant change in operating time was observed. The mean resection weight remained constant (22.95g in 1990, 22.55g in 2000, 20.76g in 2010). A reduction in transfusion rates was observed but there were higher rates of secondary haematuria and bladder neck stenosis. There was an increase from 2% to 11.5% of patients with long-term failure to void following TURP.The number of TURPs performed continues to decline, which could lead to potential training issues. Urinary retention is still by far the most common indication. However, there has been a significant rise in the percentage of men presenting for TURP with high pressure chronic retention. The number of patients with bladder dysfunction who either have persistent storage LUTS or eventually require long-term catheterisation or intermittent self-catheterisation has increased markedly, which raises the question of what the long-term real life impact of medical therapy is on men with LUTS secondary to benign prostatic hyperplasia who eventually require surgery.