Why it's doneBy Mayo Clinic staff
Prostate laser surgery helps reduce urinary symptoms in most men with BPH. BPH symptoms can include:
- A frequent, urgent need to urinate
- Difficulty starting urination
- Slow (prolonged) urination
- Increased frequency of urination at night (nocturia)
- Stopping and starting again while urinating
- The feeling you can't completely empty your bladder
- Urinary tract infections
Laser surgery may be done to treat or prevent complications due to blocked urine flow, such as:
- Recurring urinary tract infections
- Kidney malfunction or kidney damage
- Bladder damage, which can result in an inability to control urination (incontinence) or an inability to urinate at all (urinary retention)
- Blood in your urine
- Bladder stones
Nonlaser enlarged prostate treatments include transurethral needle ablation (TUNA), transurethral microwave therapy (TUMT), transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP), transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) and open prostate surgery (open prostatectomy).
Prostate laser surgery has several potential advantages over transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) and open prostatectomy, the enlarged prostate procedures to which others are generally compared. The advantages generally include:
- Lower risk of bleeding. Because there is a low risk of bleeding with laser surgery, it can be a good option for men who take medication to thin their blood or who have a bleeding disorder that doesn't allow their blood to clot normally.
- Shorter or no hospital stay. Laser surgery can generally be done without an overnight hospital stay (as an outpatient procedure) or with only one night in the hospital. Other prostate treatments such as TURP or open prostatectomy may require a longer hospital stay.
- Quick recovery. Recovery from laser surgery generally takes less time than recovery from TURP or open surgery.
- Less need for a catheter. Enlarged prostate procedures generally require the use of a tube (catheter) to drain urine from your bladder after surgery. With laser surgery, a catheter is generally needed for less than 24 hours.
- More immediate results. Urinary results from laser surgery are noticeable right away, while it can take several weeks to months to see noticeable improvement with other enlarged prostate procedures or with medications.
Transurethral needle ablation (TUNA), transurethral microwave therapy (TUMT) and transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP) share some of the advantages of laser surgery. They're less involved (less invasive) than traditional surgery, so healing is generally faster and there is typically less of a risk of complications. However they generally do not work as well as tissue-removing options and often have to be repeated in three to five years. These procedures are only done in men with certain types of prostates.
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