An enlarged prostate, or Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH), is a common condition that affects many men as they age. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland in the male reproductive system that surrounds the urethra. As men age, the prostate may swell, which constricts the urethra; traditionally, relief has been found through surgery.
GreenLight Laser Therapy offers a minimally invasive alternative to the traditional surgical treatment for an enlarged prostrate, transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). GreenLight Laser Therapy is often performed as an outpatient procedure and provides rapid relief from urinary symptoms. As added benefits, it also has fewer side effects than TURP, shorter catheterization time and a quicker, less painful recovery.
What to expect
Before the procedure, you may be given medication to help you relax or other medications to stave off infections. You may also be asked to empty your bladder before the procedure. Once in the procedure room, you will lie down. Some type of anesthesia, spinal block or pudendal block will be administered, allowing you to sleep during the procedure and/or thwart pain. Once the anesthesia takes effect, a cytoscope will be inserted through the urethra. A laser fiber will then be passed through the cytoscope and advanced into the urethra to the location of the prostate. The physician then delivers high power laser energy to the enlarged tissue of the prostate until it is vaporized and the obstruction is removed. A temporary catheter may be inserted after the procedure to allow urine to drain from the bladder.
You will usually be released to go home a few hours after the procedure, but due to the anesthesia you must have someone drive you home. Most patients experience relief from enlarged prostate symptoms within 24 hours of the procedure and can return to normal activity within a couple of days. Strenuous activity can be resumed after two weeks.
How to prepare
Your physician must first determine if you are eligible for GreenLight Laser Therapy based on your history and an examination. If you are a candidate, your doctor will provide specific instructions on how to prepare for the procedure.