What is laser prostatectomy?

Laser prostatectomy is used in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or enlarged prostate. It involves the insertion of a laser probe into the urethra to vaporize tissue. The procedure is quick, so there is less trauma. A variety of techniques, generators, and fibers are being tested and used for laser treatment of BPH. Laser surgery uses either vaporization, which uses high power, side-firing fibers, or coagulation, which uses low-power, reflective fibers. (Two procedures -- visually assisted laser prostatectomy and interstitial laser coagulation -- involve coagulation.) The amount of energy used determines whether vaporization or coagulation will occur. More energy creates more vaporization. Most laser techniques use a combination.

The destroyed tissue is gradually sloughed off through the urine, so it may take several weeks to notice improvement. This means that a catheter may have to remain in place longer than after transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) because of prolonged urinary retention and delayed tissue sloughing.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.